Montreal Canadiens Trade Forward Torrey Mitchell To Los Angeles Kings For Draft Pick

Ben McKeown/The Associated Press

Without a question or a doubt in not only my mind but that of many others, it has been a hard go so far this season to start out for the Montreal Canadiens who have been struggling since Opening Night in Buffalo when they faced off against the Sabres and with new faces welcomed to head coach Claude Julien’s roster formation.

Since that day, there have been constant challenges arising which includes a lack of talent and production both offensively and defensively, however, just recently in the last month to be exact, many people including not only the team’s fans but the organization itself thought they had just hit the turning point in their season with victories starting to become more of an everyday achievement as the club ended the month of October with three wins in their last four games of the month.

The success continued onwards into the start of November with another four wins in their first six games on the month before the unforseen slump came about once again, however, given their slow start it wasn't much of a surprise.

Since then, turning it around has been no easy task and with rumors starting to float within the National Hockey League and scouts starting to get busy filling up press boxes and therefore reports and speculation now in daily circulation, there have been several general manager’s names listed as possibilities to be busy before the Christmas holidays begin and amongst those stood a man by the name of Marc Bergiven and all can now lay back and breathe a breath of fresh air as the club released emerging details regarding their latest roster transaction.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

With that in mind, it must be mutual internally the frusteration of their loosing ways and so in an effort which may start a rebuild and hopefully for the better, the Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Torrey Mitchell to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional fifth round draft pick, according to a club announcement made early Thursday evening.

Looking at the deal from an immediate Montreal standpoint, Scott Matla of Habs Eyes On The Prize notes that in the case of which Los Angeles qualifies for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that fifth-round selection will then become the fourth-round pick that Montreal had initially traded to the Kings back in March for forward Dwight King.

Matla also mentions that this sudden exchange is likely to clear out some roster space as well which of course comes alongside a small amount of cap room for a future move which continues to be discussed while the wait for execution remains at a steady hold.

Until the next candle is sparked and Bergiven pulls the string and lights it once again, the Canadiens fourth line will be manned by Nicolas Deslauriers, and Byron Froese, both whom have just come up from the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League, while joined as well by Jacob de la Rose and for the foreseeable future.

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Now taking a peak at Mitchell’s statistics so far into regular season action, the 32-year-old centreman, a native of Greenfield Park, Longueuil, a city on the southwestern side of the province of Quebec, has gone scoreless in eleven games played while logging a career-low average of 9:18 ice time per game while failing to score a point. He has also served two penalty minutes.

Looking back towards the season prior in 2016–17, Mitchell scored eight goals to go alongside nine assists in a total of seventy-eight games played.

Mitchell was originally selected by the San Jose Sharks in the fourth round (126th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Allen McInnis/Montreal Gazette

As for his career as a whole which begun in 2007 at the SAP Center in Northern California, Mitchell, a veteran of ten NHL seasons, owns 61 goals scored to go alongside 80 assists in 617 regular-season games played. He has also spent time with the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul as well as the Buffalo Sabres at their home downtown by the name of KeyBank Center, just off the shores of Lake Erie in upstate New York.

Now, the pending unrestricted free agent heads off to Southern California where the Los Angeles Kings who currently own a record of 12–8–2 currently hold what looks very much so like a spot in the playoffs as they stand in second place in the Pacific Division, just one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights who continue to exceed.

Looking back to final weeks of September, just prior to the season’s first puck drop at the Bell Centre or bilingually translated as Centre Bell, Stu Cowan, Habs beat columnist for the Montreal Gazette, wrote an article titled “Torrey Mitchell fighting to keep his job with Canadiens.”

His reason for writing up this piece came with a rather solid explanation, however, one from a season beforehand as he closed his last campaign with a rough patch in the road which he was hoping to bounce back from in the new year yet has not and can now can forward to doing so with a new scenery soon to come.

Below the title of the post-game story was a caption scripted, “Veteran centre was a healthy scratch for final playoff game last season against the New York Rangers” which was the ultimate consequence in which he most certainly paid for, though, it would have very likely been the same result if Michel Therrien, now a scout for the team, was still the bench boss in charge of daily hockey operations for the club.

Frank Franklin II/The Associated Press

Going back to instant trade analysis and what this means for both sides, Mitchell was in the final season of his three-year contract worth a total salary valued at $3.6 million and so he would have headed out onto the market and into the free agent pool at the season’s conclusion so perhaps it made sense to part ways at an earlier time, meanwhile, the Canadiens gain a benefit out of the trade with what will be yet another high draft selection added onto their farm system as a result of their front office team’s wise pickings to come when the Dallas Stars hold the league’s 56th annual NHL Entry Draft which will take place from the 22nd to the 23rd of June at the Stars home of American Airlines Center located in Northern Texas.

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

After having fallen to Alexander Radulov and the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday night followed by a 3–2 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena in the second Subban-Weber post-trade competition, the Montreal Canadiens are back at it on Saturday night in their home city of Montreal as they look to begin a three-game homestand with a defeat of former Hab Nathan Beaulieu alongside his Buffalo Sabres on this week’s edition of Hockey Night In Canada with puck drop scheduled for 7:00pmET.

It is entirely possible that goaltender Antti Niemi could hit the ice fully dressed for his second time as a member of the Canadiens organization since his initial waiver claim earlier this week from the Florida Panthers, however, he did loose Wednesday night’s matchup in Tennessee which could mean Charlie Lindgren returns to the pipes.

In other news from Thursday morning out of the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec, a report suggested that both Carey Price as well as David Schlemko were seen on the ice ahead of the club’s morning practice and both could be back if progress continues swimmingly.

Pre-game coverage begins with Hockey Central Saturday on at 6:30pmET followed by the actual game itself which can be seen on City, Sportsnet and TVA Sports, meanwhile it can be heard with Dan Robertson and Sergio Momesso on TSN Radio 690 Montreal who will have you covered on the radio side of things, also on the air beginning at 6:30pmET while Jeremy Filosa brings it to francophone listeners in French on 98;5FM.

Next into town are the Columbus Blue Jackets followed by the Ottawa Senators to close it out before the Canadiens hit the road to Little Caesars Arena in Midtown Detroit, Michigan for their first visit to the brand new home of the Red Wings in Motor City.

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