While the Habs can certainly say they’re pleased with having a defenceman like Victor Mete as their seventh defender, it’s not particularly ideal for Mete. Accordingly, his agent revealed on Saturday night that Mete has asked to be traded.
This season has been a tough one for the 22-year-old as he has yet to get into the lineup in any of Montreal’s eight games. It continues a trend from the end of last season where his role was quickly marginalized from someone they were comfortable relying on for a regular shift to someone they could hardly rely on in the bubble. It’s quite the drop for him considering he logged nearly 18 minutes a game in his sophomore year.
Considering he’s on a one-year deal worth $735,000 and his track record, there should be quite a bit of interest in Mete. However, it’s those same reasons that make it difficult for GM Marc Bergevin to move him.
Cap space is an issue so it’s not as if they can take back someone making more money; they’re basically restricted to trying to match money. That effectively limits the market to players in Mete’s situation that are making close to the minimum salary or someone on an entry-level deal that could be stored on the taxi squad or sent to Laval with someone like Xavier Ouellet moving into the reserve role. With those restrictions, it may be tough for the Canadiens to find a trade they can live with, especially with the quarantine regulations in place.
In the meantime, Bergevin told Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic that he hasn’t heard about the trade request though that could just be semantics with Darren Ferris opting to leak it to the media first. However, he also indicated he has no intentions of moving Mete. We’ll see how this plays out in the coming days and weeks.