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Canadiens Capitals and Canucks Reportedly Pursuing Major Three-Team Trade

Published December 21, 2023 at 11:15
BY AARON

Over the past few days, numerous trade rumors have started surfacing on social media as the playoff picture in the NHL becomes clearer, providing an idea of which teams will be buyers or sellers by the trade deadline.

Elliotte Friedman has recently revealed significant information regarding a Vancouver Canucks player who could potentially leave the organization soon. He believes that Russian forward Andrei Kuzmenko could interest the Washington Capitals, as Kuzmenko seems to be falling out of favor with Patrik Allvin.

Despite having an excellent season in the NHL last year, accumulating 39 goals and 35 assists (74 points) in 81 games, Kuzmenko has been relegated to the fourth line in recent games. He has even been scratched from the lineup several times, suggesting that a trade might be imminent.

"I think Washington is a team that has looked at Kuzmenko, but I just don't see a trade possibility with them, it's not like the Canucks are going to take Anthony Mantha." - Elliotte Friedman



From Friedman's comments, it can be inferred that the Capitals' GM, Brian MacLellan, would like to acquire Canucks' number 96. However, to make such a trade happen, he must free up salary cap space by moving Anthony Mantha to another team.

Given that it would be surprising for Vancouver to want to add Quebecois forward Mantha to their roster, this is where Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens could step in to facilitate the trade. As with the Erik Karlsson and Pittsburgh Penguins scenario this summer, the GM of the CH could agree to absorb Mantha's contract in exchange for additional compensation.

"No [the Canucks can't take Mantha], but the Montreal Canadiens could. He has an expiring contract this summer at 5.7 million. I would absolutely absorb his contract to add more assets. I wouldn't acquire him to add a player to the lineup, but simply to facilitate a trade." - Costa Rontzocos

Kent Hughes could benefit from the Capitals' salary situation to acquire a draft pick by absorbing former Red Wings forward Mantha's contract. This would be a masterstroke by the GM!

TO MONTREAL:
- Anthony Mantha, for this season only
- 1st or 2nd round pick

TO VANCOUVER:
- A pick/a prospect

TO WASHINGTON:
- Andrei Kuzmenko

Considering that Anthony Mantha is in the last year of his contract, the financial risk would be non-existent. Additionally, the Canadiens could gain attacking reinforcement for the rest of the season and acquire another draft pick.

In 25 games with the Capitals this season, the 29-year-old veteran has scored seven goals and five assists.

POLL
December 21   |   284 answers
Canadiens Capitals and Canucks Reportedly Pursuing Major Three-Team Trade

Would you make this deal if you were Kent Hughes?

Yes18264.1 %
No10235.9 %
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