Montreal Canadiens & LA Kings Could Rekindle Trade Talks
The Montreal Canadiens are looking for a veteran right-shot defenceman, and according to one NHL source, the LA Kings could be looking to deal one; making them perfect trade partners.
Montreal Hockey Now reported last month that Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes was in the hunt right-shot defenceman that could bring a veteran presence into the locker room and help bring along the youngsters that will be rotating in and out of the lineup.
An NHL source close to the situation has confirmed to Montreal Hockey Now that the Kings are currently looking to solve their logjam on right defence and that could be an interesting proposition for the Montreal Canadiens, who are looking for some veteran help on the blue line.
“They have a top 4 NHL RD playing in AHL,” said the source regarding the situation in LA. “They’ve definitely got a surplus.
The Kings currently have one left-handed defenceman in their lineup at the moment with Alex Edler out with injury, and that’s created a balancing issue within the organization. Due to the logjam on the right side, rookie Brandt Clarke and sophomore Sean Durzi, two right-shot defencemen, are being forced to play on the left side.
Further to that, the Kings have Jordan Spence and Helge Grans left in the minors with the Ontario Reign, with the former likely being the top-4 calibre defenceman in question that is stuck in the minors. Spence proved last season that he could hold his own in the NHL, and is currently with the Reign because of his waiver exemption and the fear of exposing any of their veterans to waivers.
But this logjam isn’t limited to just this season.
On top of having Drew Doughty signed until 2029, the Kings also have Sean Walker and Matt Roy signed through the 2023-2024 season, meaning there won’t be much room for players like Spence or Grans to crack the lineup on a consistent basis in the immediate future, unless someone with term is moved out.
Enter the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens and the Kings have been confirmed to have had talks leading up to the NHL trade deadline last season, and have spent a good amount of time scouting both LA’s main roster and farm team during that stretch.
With the Montreal Canadiens possessing the lowest NHL Betting Odds of making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, one shouldn’t expect the club to go big game hunting here for one of LA’s top prospects. However, targeting a veteran like Sean Walker, who can provide that veteran presence on the right side of the defence, would likely be more up general manager Kent Hughes’ alley; and it would be a big help to the Kings at the same time.
The Kings are seemingly done rebuilding and will look to maximize the prime years of Doughty, Fiala, Philip Danault, and the eternal Anze Kopitar and could look to get rid of excess to bolster their bottom six and add some secondary scoring, and some experience for the playoffs. The Canadiens currently have an excess of forwards, and, if they can make the salaries work, could make for an interesting partner for the LA Kings, allowing both clubs to solve their logjams in conclusive ways.