The Montreal Canadiens have continued their streak of playing must-watch hockey, defeating the Calgary Flames 5-4 in overtime on Thursday night. It was a highly entertaining back-and-forth affair that featured a last minute Flames goal to equalize the game before the Canadiens ended it at three-on-three.
And the best part for Montreal Canadiens fans? One of their biggest trade pieces in Ben Chiarot had his fingerprints all over that win.
Pitlick with the set up, and Ben Chiarot ends it with his second goal of the game! pic.twitter.com/bOmkOOuS3l— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 4, 2022
He also had the tying game-tying goal, as well as an assist on Mike Hoffman’s tally to take the lead in the third period. If he is to be traded — there are numerous teams reported to be interested in his services — he could not have picked a better time to have such a game.
The trade deadline is just over two weeks away, and if the market for Chiarot is as strong as the insiders are saying, this has to help the value. His underlying numbers aren’t exactly sparkling this season, but since when have NHL GMs not been able to look past those numbers in favour of simple goals and assists?
There is also his recent and extensive playoff experience, having been a key contributor on the Canadiens’ Stanley Cup Finals run mere months ago. Kent Hughes is a former player agent, and if anyone can sell a player based on intangibles like that, it stands to reason that he’d be one such person.
Of course, NHL GMs don’t habitually execute trades based on one game, or one playoff run. But a game like that as the deadline approaches at least solidifies, if not increases, the existing asking price. Rumours have suggested that something in the environs of a pick and a prospect would be possible in return for Chiarot. Maybe that is the absolute best there is, but perhaps his production of late improves either the nature of that pick, or the quality of that prospect.
Perhaps the Habs really can get a first-round pick, and a legitimate prospect out of an expiring contract. If that is the case, I don’t think there is a single Habs fan that wouldn’t jump for joy.
Alas, the official value will be determined when the most interested party comes forward with their offer. Until then, I leave you with one final thought courtesy of r/Habs:
Fun fact: Ben Chiarot would currently lead all Leafs defensemen in goals (7). #GoHabsGo #MontrealCanadiens— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) March 4, 2022
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