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Kaiden Guhle wasn’t surprised to see Kirby Dach arrive in Montreal
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

As we all know, there’s been a lot of congestion on the Montreal Canadiens’ blue line in recent years.

With veterans here and there, and several youngsters in the organization pushing for a position, it’s harder to please everyone.

This summer, we’re all expecting Kent Hughes to make a Kirby Dach-style trade for one of his established defensemen. Paired with the Winnipeg Jets’ first-round pick, the Habs could get a young top-6 forward.

Basically, Hughes wants to do a Kirby Dach trade again, when he traded Alexander Romanov and a fourth-round pick for the 13ᵉ overall pick. That pick was later paired with a third-round pick to get Dach.

If the excellent piece by my colleague, Charles-Alexis Brisebois, is anything to go by, the Tricolore will have to scramble to make a pick with the surplus of defensemen

Among the defensemen who could leave this summer, Jordan Harris and David Savard seem the most likely to go.

Should Savard be traded, this would free up space for Justin Barron and Logan Mailloux, who could take advantage of the opening on the right side of the defensive brigade.

It’s a situation quite similar to that of Kaiden Guhle, when Romanov was traded to the New York Islanders in the 2022 draft.

That’s what Arpon Basu says in his article today on The Athletic.

“If Savard is traded this summer, the same feeling Guhle had in 2022 could easily be felt by Barron, Mailloux and Reinbacher.” – Arpon Basu

For that to happen, Justin Barron would have to perform better in Laval between now and the end of the season, because since his return to the AHL, he hasn’t performed like an NHL defenseman.

Also in the same article, Basu points out that Guhle wasn’t surprised to see Kirby Dach arrive:

“I had talked to Kirby, about a month or two before [the draft], and he said there’s a chance he could be traded here [to Montreal], that there were rumors about that.” – Kaiden Guhle

Guhle was not present at the 2022 draft, but he was watching it closely, as he would be trying to carve out a place in the Tricolore line-up at the training camp following that draft.

He added that as soon as a trade was announced with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Habs and the Islanders, he figured that Dach was probably coming to Montreal and that, clearly, Romanov was leaving.

The Tricolore’s young left-handed defenseman immediately linked Romanov’s departure to an opening on the team among left-handed defensemen.

Although he didn’t necessarily expect to be the player to inherit the vacant position, he obviously wanted to make his mark and was going to do everything he could to take it.

“I wanted it to be me. I didn’t think I was going to win that position, but I knew they had some kind of plan for someone to take that spot. It was just me who wanted to take that job and be that guy.” – Kaiden Guhle

And let’s just say he’s earned that position with an excellent first impression at training camp 2022, which earned him the regular defenseman spot on the team.

Just don’t let him get injured too often, as his injury history since the start of his career can give us cause for concern, especially if we go back to junior level.


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