Marc Bergevin’s offseason overhaul of the Montreal Canadiens continued on Tuesday afternoon when he sent Max Domi and a third-round draft pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Josh Anderson.
Both players are restricted free agents this offseason.
Domi’s name had been mentioned in trade speculation for a while, and he now moves on to his third team in four years. The Canadiens had originally acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk prior to the 2018-19 season. He gives Columbus some additional depth down the middle of its lineup and a talented playmaker that might be able to help improve their power play.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen specifically referenced the need to get better at center following the trade.
“Strengthening our center ice position has been a priority for our club and we are extremely excited to add a player of Max Domi’s talent and character to the Columbus Blue Jackets,” said Kekalainen in a statement released by the team. “He is a skilled playmaker that also brings grit and competitiveness, and we think he will be a great addition to our team.”
He finished with 17 goals and 27 assists in 71 games this past season for the Canadiens. Those numbers were a pretty steep fall from his first year with the Canadiens when he finished with 72 points in 82 games. The 25-year-old made $3.1 million on his most recent contract.
Montreal, meanwhile gets a big power forward in Anderson that brings some intriguing potential to their lineup.
During his first three full seasons in the NHL Anderson had scored at a 25-goal pace each season. But his 2019-20 season was completely sidetracked by injuries that limited him to just 26 games, where he scored just a single goal.
If he is healthy and if gets back to the form he showed prior to last season he certainly brings a different dimension to the Canadiens’ lineup that it had been lacking. But those are two fairly significant questions that should not just be tossed aside.