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David Savard could be traded this season

Since the departure of Joel Edmundson, it’s not too hard to figure out who the Habs’ young defensemen will lean on in the most tumultuous moments of the upcoming season. When the chips are down, the likes of Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Arber Xhekaj and Justin Barron will turn to Mike Matheson and David Savard. The two veterans will undoubtedly have a crucial role to play in their development.

We know that David Savard is in a position to do just that, having already played such a role with the Columbus Blue Jackets for a certain Zach Werenski. Let’s just say the kid didn’t do too badly!

David Savard has no problem with mentoring, and he’ll do it the way he’s always done it.

In his Canadiens Mailbag article of the day, journalist Eric Engels was asked about the chances of the Quebecer being traded between now and the end of the current season, and he had an interesting take on the situation.

In his opinion, David Savard, a right-sided defenseman who is solid defensively and able to bring a certain amount of offense, is a luxury commodity on the market, especially for Stanley Cup contenders.

Knowing this, and taking into account that he’s under contract for this season and next at a very attractive salary of $3.5 million, it’s possible that the Habs might be tempted by a trade offer involving a good return. That return could be a top pick or a prospect on the verge of establishing himself in the NHL.

However, we’re not talking about a rumour here, but rather a scenario that strikes me as entirely appropriate, given that Savard is currently 32 years old, 33 in October, and clearly won’t be with the team when it comes time for the big time.

On another note, Engels doesn’t see a deal happening every time. In his opinion, the Habs need to be a good 5 or 6 points behind the teams in the playoff race before Kent Hughes decides to make a move. If the Tricolore is, as many fans and pundits hope, in the thick of the race, there would be no reason for the general manager to give up this kind of asset and, by extension, undermine his troops’ chances of success in the short term.

I quite agree with the excellent journalist’s reading on this one. The only thing I see a little differently is that, in my opinion, Kent Hughes has a duty to generate the best possible return for this kind of asset, much as he managed to do in the case of Ben Chiarot. The Joel Edmundson deal, for late-round picks and a player in the minors on top of withholding 50% of his salary, didn’t generate the maximum return as far as I’m concerned. Inevitably, David Savard’s performance will be affected by the passage of time. Hughes must therefore ensure that he manages this decline well and trades him before it becomes too great and affects his value downwards.

With that in mind, even if the Habs are in the playoff race, I wouldn’t hesitate to test the waters for potential takers and, if possible, raise the stakes. The team’s long-term success is far more important to me than fighting for a playoff spot and potentially ending up in no-man’s-land. You know, that famous place where you don’t make the playoffs and end up with a mid-first-round pick and the cream of the crop of talent no longer available.

In brief

– Rafaël Harvey-Pinard answered journalists’ questions.

– Kris Draper moves up the Red Wings hierarchy.

– Who had the best mock draft/ranking of prospects in the last draft? The answer can be found here:

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