It was a quiet deadline day for the Habs but they did get a deal in before the closing bell, shipping winger Devante Smith-Pelly to New Jersey in exchange for winger Stefan Matteau.
Matteau was a 1st round pick (29th overall) of the Devils back in 2012. Most famously, he was the player they selected instead of forfeiting the pick as part of the penalty for their cap-circumventing contract to Ilya Kovalchuk.
To say Matteau hasn’t panned out thus far would be an understatement. He has played in just 44 NHL games thus far, picking up just three goals and two assists with a -10 rating. 20 of those games came this season where he had just one goal (zero helpers) and a -9 rating while averaging 10:04 per game.
The 6’2, 220 lb winger has had a bit more success in the AHL where he posted a total of 25 goals and 28 assists in 129 games. He played one game for New Jersey’s AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint after being sent down on Saturday but he was recalled prior to the trade.
Smith-Pelly, meanwhile, was underwhelming in his time with the Canadiens after being acquired last season in exchange for Jiri Sekac (who was traded to Chicago and then waived to Arizona in recent weeks). He spent most of the season either on the fourth line or in the press box; in 46 games this season, he had six goals and six assists while playing eleven minutes a night.
Matteau has one year left on his contract after this season with a cap hit of $612,500. Smith-Pelly will be a restricted free agent following the season and will be owed a qualifying offer of $840,000.