It appears as if the Montreal Canadiens have used the two warm bodies they got back in the Erik Karlsson trade as nothing more than trade bait as they traded Jeff Petry to Detroit mere days after acquiring him and now they’ve done the same with the other warm body, goalie Casey Desmith.
Montreal actually flipped DeSmith to Vancouver in exchange for bottom-six forward Tanner Pearson and a 2025 third-round pick.
Montreal will be taking on cap space with the trade but they have LTIR cap space in abundance as even after assuming the additional $1.4 million in cap space that Pearson will bring to the Habs they still have over $4 million in LTIR cap space thanks to Carey Price’s humongous $10.5 million cap hit going on LTIR for at least one more season, and maybe for good depending on how his health holds up in the near future.
Montreal appears to have a cheaper option they like better to platoon with Jake Allen, while the Canucks have a starter quality guy in Thatcher Demko and could definitely use a veteran option like DeSmith to spell him off, as they would’ve been in trouble in case of an injury to Demko otherwise.
Not to mention the Canucks BADLY needed the $1.4 million in cap space this trade saved them as Tanner Pearson I would argue is overpaid for a bottom-six forward. This means that with the LTIR cap space that is available to them (Tucker Poolman is the guy on LTIR for them right now) that instead of being over their LTIR threshold as well as the cap, now the Canucks have $503,333 in LTIR cap space which means they are now cap compliant.
Personally, I think this is a good trade for both teams. Montreal gets a veteran presence for their bottom-six forward group, even if he is overpaid (I believe he was a top-six forward in Vancouver at one point in time), and a third-round pick from the Canucks (which explains why they didn’t retain salary in the trade) while the Canucks fill a hole on their roster and save cap space in the process.