After being the worst team in the second half of the season, it’s no secret that the Montreal Canadiens are looking to shake up their roster. There’s been a ton of rumors surrounding the potential exit of P.K. Subban, but there’s also been some chatter about who they might be looking to add.
According to TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger, the Habs are one of the teams pushing hard to acquire Cam Fowler from the Anaheim Ducks. Fowler has two years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $4 million. The 24-year-old had five goals, 28 points and a minus-8 rating in 69 games during the 2015-16 season.
Fowler has never been able to replicate the numbers he put up in his rookie season (10 goals, 40 points in 76 games), but he remains a talented puck-moving defenseman.
So, why would the Ducks part ways with him?
Anaheim has already invested $4.875 million per year in Sami Vatanen this off-season and you’d have to think that an even bigger contract is coming for RFA Hampus Lindholm. After his contract expires, Fowler will also command a raise. That’s a lot of money to tie into your defense.
Secondly, with the league now confirming Las Vegas’ arrival in 2017-18, the existing teams are already setting up their expansion draft scenarios. To keep the maximum amount of players, the Ducks would only be able to protect three defensemen. Lindholm and Vatanen will likely be willingly protected by the Ducks, but Kevin Bieksa is a must-protect because he has a no-movement clause (unless he agrees to waive it).
The Canadiens being interested in Fowler makes sense. As of right now, they have four left-handed defensemen under contract for next season. But with Andrei Markov in the final year of his contract, the Canadiens could see Fowler as his long-term replacement.
As for the Subban chatter, Bob McKenzie weighed-in on TSN 690 radio in Montreal this morning: