The Habs made a trade during Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jackets as they moved centre David Desharnais to Edmonton in exchange for defenceman Brandon Davidson.
Davidson has played in 28 games with the Oilers this season, recording one assist, 31 hits, and 46 blocked shots while averaging 15:24 per game. He missed 30 games earlier in the year due to an upper body injury while missing another four due to illness last month. When healthy, he had been a regular on Edmonton’s top pairing.
In 91 career NHL games, the 25 year old has five goals and eight assists to go along with 123 hits, 160 blocks. He has logged an average of 17:29 per night. Davidson hasn’t been much of a scorer at the AHL level either, collecting just 28 points in 150 career minor league contests.
As for Desharnais, his time with Montreal has been very well documented. He joined the organization on a minor league deal and started out in the ECHL. He worked his way up to the big club and was in his eighth season with the team. However, he had fallen out of the lineup more and more frequently and recently had been relegated to a fourth line/healthy scratch role.
This season, Desharnais has just four goals and six assists in 31 games while averaging just over 13 minutes a night, his lowest since 2010-11. In his career, the 30 year old has played in 435 games, all with the Habs, collecting 250 points.
Davidson has one year left on his contract beyond this season with a cap hit of $1.425 million. He’s also eligible for the expansion draft and was a popular pick early this season as someone that the Oilers could lose to Vegas in June. As for Desharnais, he’s in the final year of his deal with a $3.5 million cap hit. Montreal will retain 20% ($700,000 pro-rated) as part of the trade. The trade results in the Habs adding a pro-rated $1.375 million in cap space.
Interestingly enough, Montreal now has a bit of a logjam on their back end on the left side as now six of the eight they have on their roster are lefties. On the other side, an already weak centre position has even less depth now. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising now to see Marc Bergevin turn around and flip a blueliner for some more help down the middle, basically the inverse of this deal.