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Joel Armia: David Pagnotta believes in a deal
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
The Canadiens have a problem on their hands: Joel Armia and his $3.4M per season contract for another year and a half.

The Finnish player clearly received a nice gift from Marc Bergevin before he was fired: his contract. As a result, Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton now have to deal with this contract… which doesn’t help the club.

We all agree that, the way he’s playing, he’s not the most sought-after player on the market. After all, he doesn’t always force himself, which sometimes makes him useless on the ice.

There’s a reason why the Habs sent him to Laval at the beginning of the year: he needed to get a message across.

And even though he’s been playing a little better in recent weeks, you never really know when he’ll start hibernating again and become useless on the ice. Because yes, it’s probably going to happen.

If I were the GM of another NHL club, I’d be wary of a player like that on the trade market.

That said, David Pagnotta (The Fourth Period) still thinks that, under the right conditions, there could be interest in Joel Armia on the open market.

Of course, to do this, Kent Hughes would have to be able to withhold 50% of his salary, in order to trade him for only $1.7 million per year. That would make it easier.

Remember that if the Habs withhold salary from a Joel Armia deal by March 8, they can’t use salary withholding until July 1. And from then on, for a year, it would have only one.

A club only has three at any given time. Right now, the Habs are using two: Joel Edmundson for another half-season and Jeff Petry for a little more than a year.

I’m of the opinion that the Habs would be better off saving their last salary retention spot for the draft… but that’s because I don’t think anyone will want a player like Armia between now and the deadline.

That said, if it can be done now, I know plenty of people who will volunteer to take the Finn to the airport.

Pagnotta wrote that clubs might see him as a depth option to score in the bottom-6. I sincerely wonder what his value would be…

In gusts

– Ouch.

– Jake Allen is obviously on the list.

– Really?

– Jordan Eberle in Seattle to stay?

– Patrick Roy needs to work on his numerical disadvantage.

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