Lars Eller staying, Desharnais being shopped

(Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

With nearly four hours remaining on deadline day, Richard Labbé of LaPresse and TSN insider Darren Dregger both confirmed that they spoke to Lars Eller’s agent Kevin Epp regarding his place in Montreal. According to reports, Marc Bergevin informed the 26 year old that he will not be moved today.

This year, Lars Eller has just 10 goals, 10 assists for a total of 20 points and a -14 rating. Eller has spent the majority of his career as Montreal’s third line centre, tasked with the toughest defensive assignments, shutting down top centres and killing penalties. With the arrival of Phillip Danault from Chicago, there was speculation that he could be Lars Eller’s replacement as 3rd line centre. From what I’ve seen of Danault, he does everything you’d ask a 3rd line centre to do. He kills penalties, has decent speed and he works really well along the wall. The only problem with Danault is that he doesn’t really seem have the scoring touch that Lars Eller does. Whether people like to believe it or not, Eller does have an offensive upside. He’s just never been given a consistent chance. But for some reason, people seem to have a problem with a 3rd line shutdown centre (an excellent one at that) who can manage 30-35 points a season. Overall, keeping Lars Eller is really smart move. When the Canadiens go into the playoffs and the teams “number one and number two centres” shy away, you need big two-way threat, playoff gamers like Eller to step up.

 

Though it was confirmed that Lars Eller is staying put, Louis Jean of TVA sports mentioned the possibility of David Desharnais being traded.

Desharnais was injured a week and a half ago from blocking a point shot from defencemen Tom Gilbert. It’s reported that he is wearing a walking boot and should be back in a few weeks. It’s not easy to trade a player who is injured, but if the injury is something as minor as Desharnais’ (fractured foot), maybe Bergevin could deal him for a late pick. In my opinion, David Desharnais has little to no value. After being given numerous opportunities to prove himself offensively by letting him play with premier goal scorer Max Pacioretty, Desharnais has continued to underachieve. I don’t see what Montreal could get in return for the 5”7 pivot. He’s a slow, weak, and timid hockey player who often avoids traffic and has no impact on any given game. He’s proven time and time again to be a defensive liability. He doesn’t backcheck, rather he just matches the opposing team’s players speed. More on Desharnais, throughout 38 playoff games, he has only three goals, one of which was an empty netter. For someone who doesn’t kill penalties, gets numerous opportunities on the powerplay, Desharnais’ numbers should be much better. If the Canadiens were to deal him, I could see him going to the Ottawa Senators for a 5th. If Marc Bergevin can’t deal the overused pivot, I expect Desharnais to be either placed on waivers or bought out once the season is over.

 

What do you think? Should the Habs deal Desharnais?

Let me know in the comment section and be sure to follow me on twitter: @PatrickTallon81

 

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