The Montreal Canadiens are enduring the ups and downs of their first full season of rebuilding under executive vice president Jeff Gorton and general manager Kent Hughes. They've improved over their disastrous 2021-22 campaign but currently find themselves 11 points out of wild-card contention in the Eastern Conference.
Gorton and Hughes were sellers leading up to last year's trade deadline, shipping out such notable players as Tyler Toffoli, Ben Chiarot, Artturi Lehkonen and Brett Kulak for draft picks and prospects. They're likewise expected to be busy this year as the NHL's March 3 trade deadline approaches.
Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette recently speculated that the Canadiens' lineup will look vastly different following the trade deadline. He believes veterans such as Jonathan Drouin, Evgenii Dadonov, Sean Monahan, Joel Edmundson and Josh Anderson could all be available in trades.
Drouin, Dadonov and Monahan are due to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Edmundson has one more season remaining on his contract, while Anderson is signed through 2026-27.
Dadonov's inconsistent performance and Drouin's injury history could make them difficult to trade. If Hughes can move either one, he probably won't get much in return.
However, Monahan, Edmundson and Anderson could have sufficient value to fetch quality returns for the Canadiens. There could even be a market for a veteran such as Mike Hoffman.
Here's our take on four potential win-win trade scenarios that could benefit the Canadiens and their possible trade partners. Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.
Josh Anderson to the New York Islanders
A lack of scoring depth has plagued the New York Islanders since John Tavares departed for Toronto in 2018. Sitting 24th this season in goals-per-game average (2.94) and struggling to stay in playoff contention, they must bring in a scoring right winger to skate alongside centers Mathew Barzal or Brock Nelson.
Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello could be shopping for help between now and March 3 to address that need. Depending on what he's willing to part with, perhaps he'll try to pry Josh Anderson away from the Canadiens.
Anderson, 28, scored a career-high 27 goals in 2018-19 with the Columbus Blue Jackets and tallied 19 goals twice in injury-shortened seasons. Skating alongside an elite playmaker such as Barzal could turn him into a perennial 30-goal scorer. Anderson is signed through 2026-27 with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million and an eight-team no-trade list.
The Isles have $6.8 million in projected deadline cap space. Lamoriello could offer winger Anthony Beauvillier ($4.15 million annually through 2023-24) to make room for Anderson, provided he includes a first-round pick or a high-end prospect as part of the return. The struggling Beauvillier might benefit from a change of scenery.