Who will go? Who will stay? Nobody knows and none is the wiser. In 30 hours’ time, we will know what further roster moves Team HuGo has made to refine the Montreal Canadiens’ chances of a swift and successful rebuild.
Having already obtained a couple of first-rounders in two separate drafts combined with two established B-level prospects in Emil Heineman from the Calgary Flames and former Florida Panthers prospect Ty Smilanic, Kent Hughes has made it clear that no one is safe as long as the price is right.
Players like Chris Wideman, Matthieu Perreault, and Cédric Paquette could possibly become interesting for a playoff contender looking to upgrade the lower half of its roster, but the return in question would be low to non-existent.
Instead, Patrik Bexell and Anton Rasegård take a look at the real firecrackers who could be getting an extended look from other teams’ general managers. If you go by the mantra to sell when a stock is at its highest, there will not be a better opportunity to cash in on Artturi Lehkonen than right now. His current tally of 29 points would see him just short of 40 over an entire season; a figure he’s never been close to in the past. On the other hand, Lehky is a restricted free agent this summer and at just 26 there could be many more years of quality hockey to come from the former Frölunda player.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Jeff Petry, Brendan Gallagher, and Joel Armia. If Lehkonen would be sold high, these three would be sold low with seasons well off their best. Other teams should have been taking notes about this season being an oddity in otherwise impressive careers and, with the term they carry, they could be assets to build around longer than just during a playoff run.
Tune in to listen to Patrik Bexell converse with an Anton Rasegård who, due to him currently getting over a cold, sounds like he’s just spent hibernation in a liquor factory.