MON­TREAL CANA­DI­ENS

The Hockey News - - NHL -

NEEDS: A No. 1 cen­ter with size and of­fen­sive abil­ity and up­grades at ev­ery po­si­tion but goal. Wash, rinse and re­peat.

AVAIL­ABIL­ITY: Some good use­ful veter­ans on ex­pir­ing con­tracts and cap space for a team look­ing to dump salary at the dead­line.

UFAs: T. Plekanec, (C), J. Jer­abek (D), A. Hem­sky (RW), N. Des­lau­ri­ers (LW), A. Niemi (G)

TRADE BAIT: De­pend­ing upon how se­ri­ous the Cana­di­ens are about get­ting the much-needed re­build­ing process un­der­way, they could start at the dead­line by hold­ing a Max Pacioretty sweep­stakes. Pacioretty is in the midst of a ter­ri­ble sea­son, but he’s a proven 30-goal scorer with lead­er­ship ca­pa­bil­i­ties and still has a year left on his deal at a friendly $4.5-mil­lion cap hit. He wouldn’t fetch as much as Matt Duch­ene did for Colorado, but the bounty for Pacioretty would be a very large one. Mon­treal has an­other chip to play in two-way cen­ter To­mas Plekanec, and Alex Galchenyuk is per­pet­u­ally in the ru­mor mill.

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