While it’s far from the big move many are hoping for, the Habs did make a small deal on Thursday as they traded centre Torrey Mitchell to Los Angeles in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2018.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Montreal chose to move Mitchell. While he was a regular player when Michel Therrien was behind the bench, he hasn’t been under Claude Julien. Mitchell was a scratch three times in the postseason and that has carried over into 2017-18.
The 32-year-old has played in just 11 games with the Canadiens this season and has been held off the scoresheet. He has also averaged just 9:18 of ice time when he has been in the lineup, well below his career average of 12:34.
While his time with the Habs didn’t exactly end well, Mitchell was still a serviceable role player for parts of four seasons with the team. He leaves Montreal having recorded 19 goals and 18 assists in 174 games in a Canadiens uniform.
The trade opens up a spot up front that could be utilized a few different ways. At first glance, it may give Byron Froese a longer look with the team and he had taken Mitchell’s spot in the lineup fairly regularly in previous weeks. They could also choose to give Michael McCarron another look although it hasn’t been too long since they demoted him for not playing well enough. Or, if they’re comfortable with Froese and Jacob de la Rose as fourth line centre options, it could open up a spot for someone like Daniel Carr to get a look after a very strong start to his season with Laval.
As for the draft pick, if the Kings fail to make the playoffs, Montreal will receive their fifth-round pick. If they qualify for the postseason though, the Habs will reacquire their own fourth-round selection that they traded in exchange for Dwight King back at the trade deadline last season.