The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenceman Erik Gustafsson from the Philadelphia Flyers. In 24 games he has scored a goal and 9 assists. In exchange, the Flyers will receive a 7th round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Philadelphia will also retain half of his salary.
Montreal Acquires Erik Gustafsson
Habs are getting D Erik Gustafsson from Flyers
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 12, 2021
Erik Gustafsson will be a free agent this summer. He is currently on a deal that carries a $3 million cap hit. Last season the 29-year-old played for the Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to the Calgary Flames. The 29-year-old former fourth-round pick scored six goals and 23 assists before being traded at the deadline to Calgary. Through 245 NHL games, he has scored 29 goals and 100 assists for 129 points in his career. During the 2018-19 season, he broke out and scored a career-high 17 goals and 43 assists for 60 points. Despite this showing, he has yet to reach that point of production again in his career.
What This Means for the Future
The left-shot offensive defenceman adds another piece to the Canadiens blue line as they enter the latter portion of this shot-ended season. The team currently sits 4th in the North division and would play the Toronto Maple Leafs in a playoff series if the season were to end today. Adding an offensive weapon on the blue line could benefit the team greatly. They have been lacking a ton of scoring talent recently and adding a speedy defender could bolster their power play and offensive production.
The Canadiens also acquired defenceman Jonathon Merrill last night in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings. Adding more depth defence last night and today shows that direction the team will likely be taking in terms of play down the stretch. These moves signal that the front office is probably very comfortable with its forward group going into the post-season.
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