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Hostile offer to Evan Bouchard: the CH “would make sense”, believes Frank Seravalli
When you look at the state of affairs with the Habs, you notice (in my opinion) three major shortcomings: the absence of top-notch prospects up front, the absence of a particularly promising young goaltender, and the lack of depth at right-back (both young and old).

Barring a surprise (named David Reinbacher), the CH will address the first deficiency with its first draft pick, and should also select young goaltenders from the nursery later in the auction. It won’t solve everything, but it’ll be a good start on the first two points.

That said, in terms of right-handed defensemen, it doesn’t seem quite as obvious. Aside from Logan Mailloux and Justin Barron, the club is weak at this level, and short of drafting Reinbacher, it won’t solve this problem in the draft.

On the other hand, it could happen this summer. Let’s talk about Evan Bouchard, shall we?

Bouchard is a 23-year-old right-handed defenseman who has just completed his second full NHL season with the Oilers. During those seasons, he scored 43 and 40 points respectively, and shines thanks to his offensive potential and his “Booch Bombs”, the name of his powerful shots hit from the point.

He may not be Shea Weber, but he’s got the right stuff.

That said, Bouchard is currently a restricted independent player. Where it gets complicated is that the Oilers don’t have a lot of money (they only have $5 million under the cap and still have players to sign), so the word out there is that the club could have a hard time matching a hostile offer.

You see me coming, I guess.

In the most recent episode of DFO Rundown, Frank Seravalli and Jason Gregor took a look at Bouchard’s case and talked a bit about the possibility of a hostile offer. And when he took the time to think about it, Seravalli noted that, in his opinion, the CH is a team that “would make sense” to table a hostile offer for the defenseman.

On the other hand, it’s important to note that he has specified that he doesn’t necessarily expect this to happen. On the other hand, if there’s a team that could do it, the Canadiens are one of them.

After all, the CH have a lot more financial resources (they don’t have many players left to sign, they have about $10M free if they put Carey Price on the LTIR and some big earners could leave this summer) and they’re in desperate need of a quality right-handed defenseman. Plus, Bouchard could quarterback a currently anemic power play, which would be great for the CH.

It’s still an unlikely scenario (Bouchard is more likely to sign a one-year contract with the Oilers for around $3 million), but should Kent Hughes drop a line to his camp offering a large sum to get him out of Edmonton, he could tie Ken Holland’s hands in a big way.

But Bouchard would have to be interested in signing a hostile offer. That’s far from a certainty.

To be continued, but the idea is interesting. Not necessarily probable, but certainly intriguing.

In Brief

– Cole Caufield reunited with friends Jack Hughes and Trevor Zegras at the Montreal Grand Prix.

And speaking of F1.

– Marc-André Fleury knows retirement is coming. [Fanadiens]

– Nice read.

– Karl-Anthony Towns’ comments are the talk of the basketball world. My text (and long analysis) on the subject.

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