Would These Players Fit Well Into the Canadiens System?
Growing up, one of my favorite games modes on the NHL video game was “Be a GM”. I specifically was fond of this game mode because it allowed me to construct teams the way I saw fit and allowed me to flew my imagination and creativity. Well, now at the age of 22, and with no GM offers to make their way to my phone, writing about what I would do is going to have to suffice.
I’ve been thinking recently of players that I would like to see on the Canadiens in the near future, so I figured why not write an article about it. The players picked below were chosen on the criteria that A) they would appear well in our system and B) the trade would be feasible for the Habs.
So, without further ado, here are five players I would like to see the Canadiens trade for in the near future.
#1 – Jordan Greenway
I know, you’re probably thinking about how random this pick is. The fact of the matter is that the Canadiens could use some extra size, and Greenway brings not only size but a whole bunch of other stuff to the table as well. The 6″6 power-forward enjoyed his best season for the Minnesota Wild last year, as he put up 32 points in 56 games.
The Canadiens could use some more forwards like Josh Anderson; strong, powerful, fluid skaters, and strong offensive acumen. Greenway has all those things, and he’s only 24 years old. In my opinion, I think he would be a great third-liner who could even get some second-line minutes to.
#2 – Shea Theodore
This trade would be a bit harder to swing, but it’s not entirely impossible. For about a year now I have been talking about how Theodore is going to be a top-five defenseman in the league within the next couple of years. In my opinion, he’s the very best defenseman on the Golden Knights (though most say, Alex Pietrangelo).
It still boggles my mind how underrated Theodore is. He’s one of the best puckhandling D-Men in the league and can hang with the best of them offensively. The Canadiens need a puck-moving defenseman who can quarterback our powerplay, and Theodore has the very makings of everything we need.
#3 – Tom Wilson
Yes, that Tom Wilson. The Toronto, Ontario native has made a name for himself in the NHL as an instigator. Known mainly for his bone-crushing hits and albeit (sometimes) plays that cross the line, Wilson has become a household name when it comes to the modern-day power-forward.
The man is no slouch in the scoring column, as he has put up two 20+ goal seasons as well as two 40+ point seasons during his tenure in the NHL. The great thing about him is that you can even throw him in front of the net on the powerplay; he really is a Swiss-Army knife. I think his mix of speed, intensity, and size would bring a new dynamic to this Canadiens offense that would serve it well in the future.
A lot of controversies have surrounded Wilson, who over the years has built a resumé of suspensions. Many people don’t like him as a hockey player. I’m not one of those people. I think the way he plays hockey is a lost art form, that many of today’s players are afraid of utilizing. Sure, does Wilson step over the line and put people’s lives in danger? Yes, and I don’t condone that. In my opinion, he wasn’t suspended enough for some of the stunts he’s pulled.
In saying that, there is a grace to his game when he’s not acting out of control and going for people’s heads. It’s very rare to find a guy who’s 6″4, can put the puck in the net, can hit and intimidate, and can fly down the wing with the best of them. Ask any GM and he would love to have Tom Wilson on his team (except the St. Louis Blues or New York Rangers).
#4 – Lars Eller
For our fourth pick, we head to a teammate of Wilson’s; Lars Eller. The Denmark native originally came to prominence in the NHL with the Canadiens but was subsequently traded. I still feel that was one of Bergevin’s worst trades ever made, as Eller would go on to enjoy a career resurgence in Washington, carving out a niche role for himself on the third line.
Eller has already played in the Canadiens system, knows how to adapt to it, and would be a great addition to the third line. Instead of signing a random one-year contract player, why not make an investment for once for our bottom pairing centers? In my mind, that would make sense.
#5 – A Number One Center
For this one, I’m going to let your imaginations run wild and let you choose who it will be. I don’t care who it is, but it has to be a number one center. Only when they take this next step, will they see improvements as a franchise. In my opinion, we need a facilitator type of center, one that is always creating dangerous plays around the opponent’s net. Think of Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers, or Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers.
Centers like that can be found in the draft, but the Canadiens have a poor drafting history highlighted by first-round busts and mismanaged prospects. Some viable targets to look out for (that we may be able to sign in an upcoming free agency) include Filip Forsberg and Mika Zibanejad of the 2022 NHL free-agency class.
If the Canadiens elect to not go the free-agency route, then they will have to pony up a pretty offer if they will want to land a suitable center. With Nick Suzuki on the rise, I am positive he will be our number one center in a couple of years. The important thing is to bring in a mentor to tailor Suzuki’s game so that he realizes his potential and transforms into the number-one center we all know he is capable of being.
And there we have it! Five players I’d like to see the Canadiens trade for. What do you think of these picks? Let me know in the comments below!