On Tuesday, GM Marc Bergevin pulled off his second trade of the year.
While many would have expected the recently-waived Rene Bourque to be dealt,
another player on the fringes of the lineup in Travis Moen is on the move
instead. The veteran winger has been traded to the Dallas Stars in
exchange for defenceman Sergei Gonchar.
Gonchar recently returned to the Stars’ lineup after missing the first eleven
games of the season with a foot injury. He has suited up for three games,
collecting an assist while averaging 13:01 per game as he was being eased back
into playing regularly. This was his second year with Dallas after joining
them via a sign-and-trade from Ottawa in 2013. He waived his no-trade
clause to accept the trade to Montreal.
While he won’t help a whole lot in the defensive end, Gonchar should be able
to help what has been a disastrous powerplay for the Canadiens. Of his 798
career points (in 1,256 games), 423 of those have come with the man advantage;
102 goals and 321 assists. As the Habs’ powerplay is running along at a
whopping 7.7% heading into Tuesday’s game vs Winnipeg, he certainly can’t be any
Moen was one of the longest-tenured Canadiens as he was playing in his sixth
season with the team. However, his role with the team had greatly
diminished in the last little while as he found himself playing sparing minutes
on the fourth line when he was actually in the lineup. This year, he has
suited up in ten games, going pointless while averaging just 10:29 of ice time.
In his career, Moen has 56 goals and 69 assists in 690 games.
Montreal is taking on a considerable amount of salary in the deal.
Gonchar carries a cap hit of $5 million this season though the Stars are
retaining 8% (or $400,000 pro-rated) to make Montreal’s cap charge $4.6 million.
However, the 40 year old is a UFA after the season whereas Moen has this year
and next at $1.85 million. The deal leaves the Habs around $1.6 million
under the cap (before bonuses) pending further roster moves. As the team
now is carrying eight blueliners and just the minimum 12 forwards, it’s likely
that we’ll see another forward up from the Bulldogs with one of Jarred Tinordi
or Nathan Beaulieu returning to Hamilton.