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Ben Chiarot traded to the Florida Panthers for Ty Smilanic, 2023 first-round pick, and more

The Montreal Canadiens have dealt the defenceman to a division rival.

New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens have traded Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers, receiving forward Ty Smilanic, Florida’s 2023 first-round pick. and their 2022 fourth-rounder in return. Montreal retains half of Chiarot’s cap hit in the deal.

Chiarot had sat out Tuesday’s game versus the Arizona Coyotes as a management decision, hinting that such a trade was imminent. The deal ultimately got made several days before the deadline, as Kent Hughes clearly liked the return he was offered.

Chiarot was playing his third season in Montreal after being signed as a free agent in 2019. He was putting together a career year in 2021-22, already with a new high in goals with seven, and three points shy of his best point total set in his first year with the team.

The offence will be a bonus for the Panthers, who were likely much more interested in his reputation as a shut-down defender. The Panthers’ road to the Eastern Conference Final could go through powerhouse offences like the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs, and they obviously wanted Chiarot’s presence to shore up their defensive-zone play.

We will have a deeper breakdown of the return soon.