December 5, 2017 | 2:16pm ET
HABS LOOKING TO ADD AS TIDE SHIFTS
Jonathan Drouin, forward
The Montreal Canadiens have turned their season around since the return of superstar goalie Carey Price, winning five straight games and moving up to third in the Atlantic Division with a 13-12-3 record.
They’ll have a large test tonight when they take on the St. Louis Blues at the Bell Centre, one of the top teams in the Western Conference, even though they’ve picked up just one win in their last five games.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has remained patient with his club, refusing to pull the trigger on a significant move to help get them out of their earlier-funk. He has made a few minor moves, though, shipping center Peter Holland to the New York Rangers for right wing Adam Cracknell, who is playing for Montreal’s AHL club in Laval, and letting Brandon Davidson go on waivers to the Edmonton Oilers.
The Habs have just over $9.68 million in current salary cap space, according to CapFriendly, which paves the way for significant additions to the roster if Bergevin chooses to go down that road.
Montreal had a representative dispatched to Vegas’ 3-2 overtime win over Arizona on Sunday, while others have been making the rounds.
According to one rival team executive, the Canadiens have been working the phones this season and exploring the marketplace in an attempt to upgrade their roster. Bergevin would like to add another offensive weapon up front and a mobile defenseman to his blueline, and is believed to be looking beyond short-term rental options.
If the Philadelphia Flyers fail to turn their season around, one player the Canadiens could pursue is forward Wayne Simmonds, whom many teams are keeping an eye on. Flyers GM Ron Hextall has not made Simmonds available, but the team will most certainly listen later in the season if remain a bottom-feeder in the standings.
Simmonds, 29, has one-year left on his contract after this season, comes with a $3.975 million salary cap hit, and owns a 12-team no-trade clause. His price tag will be significant, and may even be too high for Bergevin’s liking.
The Canadiens could also enter talks with the Buffalo Sabres, who are actively open for business on everyone except center Jack Eichel, while the Colorado Avalanche is also fielding calls for some of its players.