Proposed trade between the Canadiens and the Panthers involving Sergei Bobrovsky

Published September 27, 2022 at 7:56 PM
BY JEFF DROUIN

This Tuesday morning, the Florida Panthers announced that they have extended goalie Spencer Knight for three seasons. The contract, which will take effect in the 2023-2024 season, will average $4.5 million per year for three years.


That's to say, starting next season, the Panthers will have $14.5M on their payroll, for three seasons, for their two goalies. Note that Sergei Bobrovsky is making an average salary of $10.5M per year until the end of the 2025-2026 season.

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Looking at these numbers, it wouldn't be surprising if Bill Zito wanted to trade his Russian goalie, even if it meant keeping some of his salary, in order to give Knight more ice time. The Panthers' GM tried to trade his wealthy goalie last year, to no avail. Indeed, last May, Elliotte Friedman claimed that the Russian player was in trade talks last season.

"I suspect they made an effort to trade him this year or at least set the stage to do so. I don't know if it's possible, but I've heard that they've really worked on it, like they've really tried to see if it's possible." - Elliotte Friedman

When Friedman made this statement, it did not take long so that social networks were filled with speculation about a replacement of Price with Bobrovsky if the 31 could not continue playing. Knowing now the current situation of the CH goalie, there is no doubt that these speculations will resume.

Before you panic, you should know that Kent Hughes is not an idiot. He's certainly not going to take Bob at full salary, especially when he sees what a $10M salary on the block can cause... He's also not going to give the Panthers a gift by releasing them from this tedious contract for nothing. He'll definitely ask, if he's interested, of course, that the Panthers take some salary (50%?) and a huge plus comes with the Russian hoopster.

Before we get to players or trade speculation, let's analyze the CH and Panthers situation. As of now, there is no press to complete this deal. Florida has one more season with Knight at a salary of $925,000 while the CH is just beginning its rebuild. This kind of deal could very well happen next summer on the sidelines of the 2023 NHL Draft. By that time, the CH's youngsters will have grown and the organization will certainly want to take it to the next level.

To take that next step, the club will need an experienced goalie. The Allen/Montembeault duo will be perfect for the upcoming season, but will not be able to survive greater ambitions from the staff. Knowing that Price is definitely on the injured list until the end of his contract and that many players will finish and free up payroll next summer, acquiring a number 1 goalie at a big salary (who would definitely be held back a bit), could make sense.

As we mentioned in a recent article, with the long-term loss of Price, Kent Hughes' priority has changed. He needs to find a No. 1 goalie, because it's going to take more than Cayden Primeau if the CH is going to enjoy the heyday of the club's youthful beauty in two or three years.

Since developing a goalie takes a lot of time, it's getting late in the game to go with this strategy. Unless Hughes is able to get his hands on a young, active goalie who has been around for 1-2 years, like Juuse Saros or Yaroslav Askarov, the Bobrovsky solution could (conditionally) do the trick.

In the past, Marc Bergevin sort of ruined Price's best years by not being able to give him the right support. Hughes should not do the opposite by not having the right goaltender during the peak of his young team.

Imagine if Kent Hughes did a Sean Monahan trade, got Bobrovsky (at 50% of his salary, so 5 million per season) and then got a good draft pick or a solid prospect in return for future considerations.

It could be a good deal! If there was ever a chance to do it this season (which most likely won't happen, but still), it hurts the Panthers in the short term, and helps the ranking of their 2023 first round pick, which is owned by the Habs!

Would you do it?

In Montreal :

- Sergei Bobrovsky (at $5 million per season)
- Pick or prospect

Florida:

- Future Considerations
POLL
September 27   |   284 answers
Proposed trade between the Canadiens and the Panthers involving Sergei Bobrovsky

Do you think it would be a good idea to acquire Sergei Bobrovsky (at 50% of his salary) + a good pick or prospect, against future considerations?

Yes18565.1 %
No9934.9 %
LIST OF POLL
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