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Justin Barron would have been traded to the Flyers if Claude Giroux had been sent to Colorado
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
The Canadiens received Justin Barron two years ago from the Avalanche. Barron and a second-round pick in 2024 headed to Montreal in return for the services of Artturi Lehkonen.

It was, in Joe Sakic’s eyes, a high priceto pay… even if Lehky was important during the 2022 series. #StanleyCup

Whether Barron will turn out to be the defenseman we’re hoping for in Montreal is debatable, but the fact remains that, at the time, Justin Barron’s name was in demand. After all, he couldn’t make it in the city, and Avalanche officials identified him as a prospect to be traded.

Will time prove them right in targeting this prospect and sending him elsewhere?

All this to say that Montreal isn’t the only club to have been offered Barron. The Flyers, according to Elliotte Friedman (in his 32 Thoughts podcast), would have obtained the defenseman if Claude Giroux had headed to Denver in 2022.

You’ll recall that in 2022, on the verge of autonomy, Giroux was traded by the Flyers. He had a choice of destination, and at one point, the Avalanche seemed like the next best thing.

He was finally traded to the Panthers on March 19 along with German Rubstov, Connor Bunnaman and a fifth pick in 2024 for Owen Tippett, a third pick in 2023 and a conditional first pick in 2024.

March 19 is an important date. Why is it important? Because two days later, on March 21, 2022, Lehkonen was traded to Denver.

If you read between the lines, you’d think Denver’s #1 pick was Giroux (logically), not Lehkonen. But even so, Sakic called Kent Hughes every day for 17 days to get Lehky.

The former Avalanche GM obviously kept himself in the mix for Lehkonen, who wasn’t on the market, and when he saw that Barron wasn’t going to be able to bring him Giroux, he likely offered him in a smaller deal for Lehkonen.

One wonders if Artturi Lehkonen would have been traded if Claude Giroux had gone the Denver route. One also wonders if Colorado would have won the Stanley Cup with Giroux instead of Lehkonen.

So it was when Barron was no longer on the Flyers’ roster that the right-handed defenseman, with his interesting offensive potential, became a real possibility in Montreal. Hughes must be very fond of Barron, who played his last few games in Laval.

We know that the Canadiens’ management is banking on youth, and we suspect that Justin Barron’s success must be important to them. But a rumour like this just reminds us of that, doesn’t it?

In brief

– Jake Guentzel: to trade him, it would take a price a la Claude Giroux in 2022.

– Would that be three- or four-try football?

– Oh well.

– Alex Tuch is not for trade.

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