The Montreal Canadiens added plenty of size and depth to their lineup prior to yesterday's 3pm ET trade deadline, but they weren't able to acquire some offensive assistance.
And it wasn't due to a lack of trying.
The Canadiens, according to multiple NHL team sources, remained in the mix for Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, spoke about his teammate Gabriel Landeskog, and had conversations with the Tampa Bay Lightning about center Tyler Johnson, among others. But when push came to shove, the Habs did not want to pay the high price tags that were out there.
"We always try to add scoring and this goes for every team in the league," Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin told the media after the deadline passed. "Scoring is at a premium and you like to add scoring but it's not out there. And if it was, the price was too high. You don't get something without giving up something and then you're going sideways. You try to move forward."
It's believed multiple teams requested the likes of top prospects Mikhail Sergachev and Noah Juulsen and young forward Michael McCarron to be part of packages for some of their own top available assets, but Bergevin refused.
Talks between the Canadiens and Lightning progressed to a certain extent, one league source told TFP, but discussions never fully escalated.
"Our core is still pretty young," Bergevin said. "We have Carey (Price), Chucky (Alex Galchenuk) is getting better, we have Sergachev coming up. In the salary cap world, you can't load up hoping (to win) and then find yourself in the next four years with nothing."