Canadiens Roster Move Incoming With Edmundson’s Return
The imminent return of Montreal Canadiens defenceman Joel Edmundson will force the Canadiens to make a roster move by 5 p.m.
With the veteran defenceman joining the club’s active roster today, the Canadiens will be at 24 healthy bodies and will need to trim it down to 23 to be compliant for tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.
There are a few options available to the Montreal Canadiens to bring that number down.
Papering a Youngster
The easiest option would be to send down a waiver-exempt player like Juraj Slafkovsky or Arber Xhekaj.
Now, before the outrage begins, this could be what we call a “papered” demotion; meaning Xhekaj or Slafkovsky would only be temporarily sent down. They wouldn’t have to report to Laval, but would be on standby until the Montreal Canadiens could figure out a more permanent solution via trade.
It could be the easy move for general manager Kent Hughes, but it would likely be a last resort if any of the following options don’t work out.
Waiving a Veteran
If Hughes feels like the youngsters deserve their time on the main roster, he could make the bold move of putting a high-priced veteran like Evgenii Dadonov or Jonathan Drouin, who earn $5M and $5.5M respectively, on waivers.
Their salaries would make them virtual locks to go through unclaimed and would present the Canadiens with more roster flexibility throughout the season; as they could be recalled at any time in case of injury.
The downside is that it would surely destroy any potential trade value either of these players has before the upcoming trade deadline. Hughes will likely keep that in mind, as he will look to maximize the value of his pending free agents prior to the NHL Trade Deadline.
Putting Dadonov On Retroactive IR
If the Montreal Canadiens feel they need a few more games to evaluate their young players or to consummate a trade, they could put Dadonov on retroactive Injured Reserve. Since Dadonov hasn’t played since Saturday and was sick with a virus, the Canadiens could claim his sickness is still hampering him and put him on Injured Reserve.
When a player is put on injured reserve, they have to stay there for a minimum of seven days, but the start date could be applied retroactively. Meaning the Canadiens could place Dadonov on IR effective October 29, and that would see him available to them for Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.
It’s no secret that Kent Hughes has been looking to make a trade to clear up the forward logjam that is currently forcing them to carry 15 forwards.
The general manager was quite candid about the subject, and even sources across the league have stated that he’s not done working on this.
With most teams now having played ten games, some may start getting antsy to make a move to salvage their season, and this could be where Hughes could strike.
It would be shocking to see a trade materialize in the next few hours, but Hughes has surprised us all before; so anything is possible. It would need to be done before 5 p.m. tonight in order to keep the team compliant.