Desharnais to Oilers, Oduya returns to Blackhawks
The Montreal Canadiens trade center David Desharnais to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Brandon Davidson. The Canadiens also retained $700K of Desharnais’ $3.5 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise that Desharnais, an unrestricted free agent, is on his way out of Montreal. His production steadily declined from his
career-best 52 point season in 2013-14. He missed time earlier this season to a knee injury and in recent games was a frequent healthy scratch.
The Oilers were reportedly seeking a third-line center who was strong in the faceoff circle. Desharnais is ok in that department (47.8 percent). However, the Oilers were looking at big guys like Martin Hanzal and Brian Boyle before their recent trades to Minnesota and Toronto respectively. Having lost out on those guys, perhaps the Oilers opted for speed and offensive skills. Perhaps they can plug Desharnais into their second line and move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins down to the third line.
The Habs, meanwhile, acquire their second defenseman in as many days, having dealt for Jordie Benn yesterday. Davidson, 25, is in only his second full NHL season. He missed over 30 games earlier this season to injury. The 6’2″, 210 pounder has good size and plays a physical game.
The Canadiens were lacking skilled depth at center before trading Desharnais to Edmonton. With this move, one has to assume the Habs aren’t done dealing. Having added Davidson, perhaps they intend to shop another blueliner in hopes of adding a center.
The Chicago Blackhawks acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Dallas Stars in exchange for minor-league forward Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. Should the Blackhawks reach the 2017 Western Conference Final and Oduya play in at 50 percent or more of their games, that pick becomes a third rounder.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oduya spent nearly four seasons with the Blackhawks from 2011-12 to 2014-15, helping them win two Stanley Cups. Signed by the Dallas Stars to a two-year deal, it’s clear he no longer had a future with the Stars after this season. He’s now at the tail end of his career, but the 35-year-old Oduya should be a solid depth addition to the Hawks as they look to add another championship.
Earlier today, the Ottawa Senators acquired forward Viktor Stalberg from the Carolilna Hurricanes in exchange for a 2017 third round pick.