Montreal Canadiens Acquire Sergei Gonchar For Travis Moen

The Montreal Canadiens made a splash today, acquiring defenceman Sergei Gonchar from the Dallas Stars in return for Travis Moen.

Gonchar, 40, is in his last year at $5 million of which the Stars are retaining eight per cent ($400,000). Moen still has next year on his contract, which gives the Canadiens some leeway, especially with Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher becoming restricted free agents after this season.

Gonchar’s role will likely be on the power play as a member of the second unit. He is a left-handed shot which means that he will be replacing either Nathan Beaulieu or Alexei Emelin. It will be interesting to see how he is used by Michel Therrien. Gonchar has only played three games this season for Dallas. He has one assist.

His Fenwick hovers around 50 per cent if not a little lower, which is actually pretty good and you can imagine he will be sheltered by the Canadiens.

The big question is how Gonchar will be used. If he is replacing Emelin, it’s not a bad move. If he replaces Beaulieu or Tinordi, then this move is bad, even with the cap savings next year.

You can imagine that Drayson Bowman will play tonight on the fourth line for the Canadiens, taking Moen’s spot.

Moen has been one of the worst possession players in the league since the start of the season and has been playing on the fourth line.

Marc Bergevin will speak to the media at 6 p.m.