The veteran purge in Laval continues. After moving out Phil Varone and Riley Barber last week, the Habs have shipped Matthew Peca to Ottawa for Aaron Luchuk and a 2020 seventh-round pick.
Peca spent all of last season with Montreal, albeit in a limited role. This season, however, he has spent most of his time with Laval and had just five NHL games with the Canadiens. He got into 34 games with the Rocket this season, collecting four goals and nine assists and while he wasn’t benched recently by Laval head coach Joel Bouchard like Varone and Barber were (they were out of healthy bodies to do so), he had recently been dropped to the fourth line and had clearly fallen out of favour. The 26-year-old is slated to be an unrestricted free agent this summer and carries a $1.3 million cap hit. He’ll be joining the Senators for the stretch run.
As for Luchuk, it’s the second time he has been dealt in less than a week as he continues to be passed around to match contracts in trades (which is a telling sign of his value). The former top OHL scorer in 2017-18, he has struggled in the pros and has spent most of his time in the ECHL. This season, he has 19 goals and 31 assists in 45 games with Toronto’s ECHL affiliate in Newfoundland while being held off the scoresheet in four AHL contests. He’s slated to be a restricted free agent this summer and at this point, he’s a lock to not be tendered a qualifying offer.
The swap also sees Montreal reclaim the lead in total picks for that draft. Ottawa had led 14-13 but that has now been flipped.