Montreal Canadiens defenseman Justin Barron and the Philadelphia Flyers logo
Photo credit: Markerzone

Justin Barron Traded to the Philadelphia Flyers? Elliotte Friedman Drops a Major Bombshell

Published February 12, 2024 at 5:05 PM

It's been nearly two years since the Montreal Canadiens traded forward Artturi Lehkonen to Colorado in exchange for a second-round pick and young defenseman Justin Barron.

At the time, the 21-year-old Barron, who was drafted in the first round of the 2020 draft, was a trade asset the Avalanche was willing to pay to make a major acquisition at the trade deadline.

However, we've just learned from insider Elliotte Friedman that "JB" almost never made it to Montreal.

During the last segment of his famous 32 Thoughts, he reveals that the defenseman was initially involved in another trade, which ultimately fell through with the Philadelphia Flyers.

In fact, Joe Sakic, who was the GM of the Avalanche at the time, initially targeted Claude Giroux, not Lehkonen.

Sakic had offered a first-round pick, in addition to Barron to the Flyers for the Franco-Ontarian forward, but ultimately, he went to Florida.

"Friedman on 32TP says that if Claude Giroux had gone to Colorado instead of Florida, it would have been for Justin Barron and a first-round pick."

Philly received a first-round pick as well, in addition to forward Owen Tippett and a third-round pick, notably for the services of its former captain. It was a good return, since Tippett has become an important part of the Flyers' offense.

This is quite interesting information because it shows how one element can influence the course of history for another team.

Since Kent Hughes wasn't necessarily keen on trading the Finnish forward, but ultimately caved due to the significant return offered by Colorado, if the initial trade had taken place with the Flyers, it's very likely that Lehkonen would still be with the Canadiens today.

We might even add that it's plausible to believe the Avalanche might not have won the Stanley Cup in 2022 if the team had acquired Giroux. Lehkonen was immensely "clutch" for his new team, totaling eight goals and 14 points in 20 playoff games.

He even scored the winning goal in overtime during the game that eliminated the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals.

A fascinating outcome that led to an incredible result for more than one team.

Credit: HabsolumentFan
February 12   |   557 answers
Justin Barron Traded to the Philadelphia Flyers? Elliotte Friedman Drops a Major Bombshell

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