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Problem versus problem: Anthony Mantha versus Joel Armia?

Joel Armia and Anthony Mantha’s days in Montreal and Washington are numbered. On the one hand, Mantha was a good player in Detroit, and on the other, he was the key player in a deal with the Washington Capitals.

In retrospect, that big trade at the time has aged really badly. Another big piece of that trade was Jakob Vrana, and only God knows what happened to that one…

The player who will probably have the biggest impact with his club in 2023 is Dallas Stars forward Wyatt Johnson. He just scored 41 points in 82 games in Dallas this season.

But hey.

Mantha is a problem in Washington, paid $5.9 million annually. At least he only has one season left on his deal. And Armia is a problem in Montreal for reasons we all know. So why don’t the two general managers trade their problem?

At this point, Armia has no value, being paid $3.4 million for two more seasons. Mantha is being paid a little more, but Montreal doesn’t need the salary boost right now (unlike the Caps).

As written in the text above, Mantha could be a Denis Gurianov 2.0. He could be acquired for nothing, and it’s a low-risk, high-reward deal. Why is that? Because if he does well, Kent Hughes could offer him a contract extension. If not, he’ll let him go like Gurianov. At 28, he’s still relatively young.

The interesting thing about Anthony Mantha is that he’s from Quebec. A return to his native province certainly couldn’t hurt. And anyway, I’d much rather have a guy like him (a big, left-handed forward) than a guy like Armia who performs one game out of 20.

By the way, my colleague Marc-Olivier Cook discussed the possibility of sending the Finn to the ballot this morning. If we’re going to do that, we might as well send him elsewhere, and perhaps Hughes could acquire a prospect or draft pick in return for Mantha’s contract?

Breaking news

Christian Jakub Dvorak signs with Los Angeles.

– Mike Hoffman in Chicago? [HF]

– Juraj Slafkovsky in the back row, obviously.

– Gatineau stays in California.

– Allan Walsh has a good point.

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