While it took until after the 3:00 PM EST deadline for news to break out about it, the Habs have made a small move, sending defenceman Joe Morrow to Winnipeg in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2018. Following that swap, the team flipped the 2019 fifth-rounder from Washington that they received last week in exchange for Jakub Jerabek to Minnesota in exchange for blueliner Mike Reilly.
Morrow was in his first season with Montreal and has played a sparing role for the most part although he was starting to be used as more of a regular lately. He showed some good offensive instincts although his play in his own end left something to be desired.
On the season, the 25-year-old has played in 38 games with the Canadiens, recording five goals (a career-high) and six assists (tying a career-high) while averaging 17:47 per night. He’s making the league minimum salary of $650,000 and will be a restricted free agent after the season.
Meanwhile, it appears that Morrow’s spot will be filled by Reilly. Similar to Morrow, Reilly has been in a depth role with Minnesota this season and has struggled to lock down a regular spot in the lineup. He has played in 38 games with Minnesota this season, scoring twice while adding eight assists; he’s also averaging 12:21 per game.
In his career, the 24-year-old has played in 84 NHL contests, all with the Wild. He has a total of four goals and 14 assists in that span. Reilly is signed through next season at a cap hit of $725,000 so it would appear that he is in Montreal’s plans for more than beyond the stretch run.
Reports suggest that these are the only trades that Montreal made which means that Max Pacioretty, who has been part of trade speculation for a while now, is staying put.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens made a pair of other roster moves. First, they recalled Nikita Scherbak from Laval; the timing of which makes it that he will be ineligible to return to the Rocket this season. In addition, Jeremiah Addison has been activated off season-opening injured reserve and has been sent to Laval.
With the deadline having passed, Montreal is limited to four non-emergency recalls between now and the end of the season. It will be interesting to see if the two players acquired on Monday, Kerby Rychel and Rinat Valiev, will get the call in the coming days and weeks.