Detroit Red Wings general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman has made several changes to the team’s roster, and they look noticeably better because of it. However, the Red Wings also have over $8 million of cap space and are in a position to make a late-summer move because of it. One team that Yzerman should consider doing business with is the Montreal Canadiens, as these three players stand out as excellent trade targets worth pursuing.
Many have wondered if Josh Anderson is currently available for trade, but Canadiens GM Kent Hughes has stated that he is not actively shopping the 6-foot-3 winger. Yet, he also noted that he wouldn’t be against moving him if the return would help improve the Canadiens’ roster. Thus, although it may be a long shot, the Red Wings should consider making a push for the power forward.
With the Canadiens this past season, Anderson scored 19 goals and had 32 points in 69 games. Overall, it was a fairly solid campaign for the Burlington native, but it’s fair to say that he could produce more with better talent around him. The Red Wings are starting to form a much stronger roster, so they would provide him with just that if they acquire him. When looking at their current group, he would work well on their second line and top power-play unit as a net-front presence.
Anderson’s immense physical style of play and solid goalscoring ability naturally make him a hot commodity. As a result, the Red Wings would likely need to part ways with both a first-round pick and NHL-caliber player to get a hypothetical deal to come to fruition. Perhaps their 2024 first-round pick and a young forward like Filip Zadina would finalize a move. Zadina is young enough that he would fit into a rebuild, and it’s fair to argue that he would probably benefit from a change of scenery.
After acquiring Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames, the Canadiens have an abundance of NHL-caliber centers. As a result of this, Hughes may be open to the idea of trading one before the start of the 2022-23 season. One player who has come up in the rumor mill this summer is Christian Dvorak, and he would be a very good player for the Red Wings to add.
Dvorak just completed his first season with the Canadiens in 2021-22, where he scored 11 goals and recorded 33 points in 56 games. Yet, it’s also important to note that the 26-year-old center ended the year on an excellent note, as he had 13 points in his final 12 games. If this is a trend that he can continue moving forward, he would work marvelously in Detroit’s middle six. When looking at their current forward group, he would be a potential upgrade to their third line over Pius Suter. He also would be a guarantee to play on their penalty kill, due to his solid defensive play.
Jimmy Murphy of Montreal Hockey Now reported last month that a source told him that the Canadiens would be “lucky” to acquire a third-round pick for Dvorak and a fourth-round pick is a more reasonable expectation. If true, that would be easy for the Red Wings to part ways with given their excellent prospect pool. Thus, why shouldn’t Yzerman consider bringing in Dvorak?
Joel Edmundson is exactly the kind of player that the Red Wings need, so he’s somebody who Yzerman should consider calling Montreal about. The Red Wings’ left side could use a bit of jolt, and the 29-year-old defenseman would provide them with just that. His defense-first style of play would make him a solid match to play with the offensively minded Filip Hronek on the second-pairing, so there could be a very strong match here.
Edmundson is also heading into this season with a lot to prove. Due to a long-term back injury, the Manitoba native was limited to only 24 games in 2021-22, where he had three goals and three assists. Once he returned to the lineup, the Canadiens performed better due to his excellent defensive play. He also brings upon a lot of grit, as his 61 hits last season show effectively. All of these elements make Edmundson a very valuable player, so Yzerman should make a push for him.
With Edmundson being such an important part of Montreal’s roster, it likely would cost the Red Wings at least a second-round pick to acquire him. With that, they would need to part ways with an NHL-caliber defenseman, and one name who stands out is Jake Walman.
Nevertheless, the Canadiens have some truly interesting targets that Yzerman should consider pursuing. Adding one of Anderson, Dvorak, and Edmundson could be very beneficial to the Red Wings, so let’s see if these two clubs can strike a deal before the 2022-23 regular season officially begins.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHLTradeRumors.me, BBallRumors.com, BaseballRumors.me, FootballRumors.me and The Rat Trick.