The Montreal Canadiens went through a wave of changes this offseason, including the departures of Phillip Danault
, Tomas Tatar
and the injury of Shea Weber
. Marc Bergevin had to adjust his game plan accordingly with the acquisitions of David Savard
and Mike Hoffman
However, if the Habs started the 2021-2022 season with this lineup, I wouldn't be totally comfortable, especially on defense. Yes, Marc Bergevin went to get David Savard
to fill for the loss of Shea Weber
, but I doubt that the Quebecer will be able to take on the same responsibilities that the captain had. Savard is a good fourth defenseman, ideally, but if the Habs kept this defense, Savard would be used much more than usual. So, the Habs would inevitably have to pick up another piece to complete the "puzzle", especially on the right side. The left side being lead by Chiarot, Edmundson and Romanov.
Marc Bergevin could be tempted to make a call to California, while a certain Kevin Shattenkirk
could be available with the Anaheim Ducks.
Remember that he was not protected by the Western formation. Bob Murray, the general manager of the Ducks, is a great friend of Marc Bergevin, they have already made many transactions together over the years. Shattenkirk has slowed down considerably over the past few years, but he would be a very interesting addition, especially for his power play skills.
The 32-year-old Shattenkirk is coming off 15 points, including 2 goals, in 55 games with the Ducks. That's not much for an offensive defenseman, but Anaheim struggled to score goals last season, so that may explain his lack of success. He would be a great complement to a defenseman like Ben Chiarot
, who could cover for his defensive flaws. Shattenkirk's value must have dropped on the market, so Bergevin wouldn't need to pay an exuberant price to get his services. Shattenkirk has two years left on his contract and his average salary is $3.9 million per season. Remember that Shattenkirk had won the big honors with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020, as did Cedric Paquette
The second option would be much more attractive, but also much more expensive. It is Matt Dumba
of the Minnesota Wild.
The 27-year-old right-handed defenseman has been linked to the Montreal Canadiens in the past, so it wouldn't be impossible for Marc Bergevin to still have this one on his radar. Dumba is a good all-around defenseman capable of playing big minutes. He has one of the best slap shots in the league, which he uses to score goals before.
Dumba would instantly take some responsibilities off Jeff Petry
, who is being used for everything. He is coming off a respectable offensive season with 21 points in 51 games. Recall that Dumba once had 50 points in one season, that was during the 2017-2018 campaign, in which he scored 14 goals.
If Marc Bergevin was able to add one of these two individuals to his top-6 defense, the Canadiens would inevitably be ready to start the upcoming season. Dominique Ducharme wouldn't have to use the same four defensemen all the time with a defensive lineup like this. Three good pairs that could get the job done would be a luxury!