Alex Galchenyuk for Artem Anisimov and a 2018 third-round pick (from Washington)
Rumors swirled around the Canadiens throughout all of February with who Montreal may be looking to move at the trade deadline. One of those players was Alex Galchenyuk, a 24-year-old center whom the Canadiens have apparently looked to move a few times.
While Galchenyuk did have 19 goals and 32 assists in 2017-18, the Canadiens make this deal as they are looking for a veteran like Anisimov, who is a bigger body with a stronger net-front presence than Galchenyuk.
The Blackhawks throw in a third-round pick (acquired from the Capitals in the Michal Kempny trade), but add a center who is six years younger than Anisimov and who can grow with the youth core.
Galchenyuk has two years left at $4.9 million AAV on his current deal, so the deal will end up saving the ‘Hawks a few hundred thousand dollars. Meanwhile, Anisimov’s deal lasts three more years, which gives the Canadiens an extra year of cap security.
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Why it won’t happen: The Blackhawks could use this as a chance to get younger at the center position, but one of the biggest reasons for moving on from Anisimov would be to upgrade from his poor possession and faceoff numbers. Unfortunately, Galchenyuk is not any better in either department.
The team may stick with Anisimov and the additional year of contract control and keep the third-round pick instead of moving to a different center who has similar struggles.
While Galchenyuk is scoring at a higher rate than Anisimov (11 more points a year on average the last three years), the center may need to be given a raise in two years and is not the major upgrade to the roster that will likely get the ‘Hawks over the top.
On top of all of this, Montreal is likely to be in more of a retooling/rebuilding phase. While rumors have surrounded Galchenyuk being traded, I can’t see them making a move for a similar, yet older center.