Dynasty Hockey League

It’s all about the future

Riding high throughout the season, the Montreal Canadiens were due to fall off the precipice as the underlying numbers behind their early season success could not be sustained. Compounding matters was the team’s desire to continue building depth for the future as the belief is that the window to compete is just starting to open after being closed, nailed, siliconed and then painted over for the past few seasons. As the goal heading into the season was just to make the playoffs, the GM hopes the moves made don’t hinder than completely as the comfortably sit 15 points above the cut line for the post season.

The GM made moves to ensure team depth was going to drive any success hoping that their top 6 could compete with teams possessing higher top end skill with the idea that greater skill amongst our bottom 6 would then create favourable differentials. The results were tremendous from the outset but now that the trade deadline is amongst them, the GM took stock with the goal of moving pieces that will help for the future.

The first deal to that effect was moving Dion Phaneuf and a 2nd for Erik Johnson and this was a deal to help the team maintain its compete level for this while unloading Phaneuf’s contract as it appears his time as a meaningful top-4 performer is drawing to an end prior to when his actual contract does. As for Johnson, his time in Montreal was limited as the GM flipped him on the deadline evening and recouped Nick Holden plus a 2nd and 3rd round pick.

To ensure that they had a full complement of defensemen for next season, the Canadiens then struck a deal to bring Cody Ceci aboard for a 2nd, 3rd and $3M. Given that Ceci is playing his best hockey in recent years and that he comes with multiple seasons of control left, the team felt it was a very fair price to add a bottom pairing defenseman.

The focus then switched to augment the forwards but started by moving out Thomas Vanek. With Max Domi sitting in the minors, the cash for such a nominal ratings difference made sense for the team allowing them to build the bank in anticipation of future free agent classes.

Next came the tough decision to move TJ Oshie. He was the primary loyalty candidate for the team but given that future rosters were thin of wingers, the GM took a risk in acquiring Tyler Toffoli and a 3rd for Oshie and Tyler Motte. The GM is hopeful that Toffoli can turn things around and given that Toffoli comes with 10 seasons of control, it was a risk worth taking for the team.

Throughout the time leading up to the trade deadline, the GM was actively scouring the waiver wire and managed to bring back Maxime Lagace while adding Laurent Brossiot and Alan Quine. The team expects Brossoit to back-up Ben Bishop for the near future while Lagace and Quine appear to be late-bloomers that will add to the over -all team depth.

The GM believes this roster is strong enough to make this post-season and contend; however, he is a happier that the future now has several more pieces to slot into the evolving puzzles.

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