On January 2nd, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin sent a 4th round pick to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Marco Scandella. Yesterday, Bergevin flipped Scandella to the St. Louis Blues for a 2nd round pick and a conditional 4th rounder. Montreal will get the 4th if Scandella re-signs with St. Louis, or if the Blues wins more than two playoff rounds with Scandella playing in over half the games. Montreal will retain 50% of Scandella’s remaining 1 year $4 million salary, as he will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
Essentially, Bergevin traded a 4th for two months of solid defensive play from Scandella and a 2nd round pick, which we think is outstanding work by Bergevin and his group. Montreal is currently ten points out of the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference, with the 13th best record in the East as well.
Despite him playing for two different teams already this season, Scandella is on his way to his first positive AB season since 2015-16. In eight years of data we have on him, Scandella has only registered positive seasons in two of them, and his coming off the worst score of his career at a -6.33 last season. Despite this, his career AB score is still a respectable -1.57 and he has a solid penalty taken/drawn ratio this year at 6:6. His giveaway/takeaway ratio isn’t outstanding at 41:15, but he is +10 with his two teams, which is pretty solid. Due to his trades and playing in multiple systems for multiple different coaches, Scandella is averaging almost three fewer minutes of ice time than his career average of 19:49. Points wise, he has 12 points combined in 51 games between his time in Buffalo and Montreal.
Montreal now has an impressive draft pick stockpile for this summer’s NHL draft, which will take place in front of their home crowd in June. They have three 2nd round picks, three 3rd round picks, and two 5th round picks, as well as their own 1st. This stockpile will only continue to grow, as Bergevin’s work is far from over. They still have teams inquiring on defenseman Jeff Petry, and forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and Tomas Tatar. Many scouts have been attending recent Canadiens games, and we believe the deals will be plentiful over the next several days leading up to the deadline for Bergevin and his group. It’ll surely be interesting to see what else he has in store for the Canadiens’ faithful, as he is definitely off to a good start this deadline season. More to come.