The Montreal Canadiens have been making some changes to their roster this week. First, the organization sent forward Rene Bourque to the minors. And on Tuesday, the Canadiens acquired veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar from the Dallas Stars in exchange for veteran enforcer Travis Moen.
The 40 year old Russian defenseman played 76 games for the Stars last season, tallying two goals and 20 assists. But the Canadiens aren’t bringing Gonchar in based on his previous point tallies. This move serves to give Montreal more depth and experience in the defensive end.
Gonchar has plenty to offer this team. He’s won a Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so he knows how to react in high pressure situations.
Experienced Defensive Anchor
Gonchar can play on pretty much any of the Montreal Canadiens lines. He would make an excellent linemate for guys like Jared Tinordi or Alexei Emelin. He will help them improve their game by teaching them how to react on the penalty kill or one on one situations.
It will also allow them to pinch in more and be more offensive. His experience will be invaluable to all of the younger defenseman on the Canadiens roster.
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Gonchar will also be a new option to look to on the team’s second powerplay and penalty kill units. The veteran has made a career of scoring powerplay goals. Of his 219 career goals, 201 of them have come on the powerplay.
Canadiens head Coach Michel Therrien will be hoping that Gonchar can start tallying powerplay goals right away. Montreal’s powerplay has not looked good so far.
It won’t take Gonchar long to fit in and find his place within his new team. He’s been coached by Therrien in the past, so he knows what to expect. Gonchar is looking forward to a fresh start in Montreal after injuries disrupted his time in Dallas.
Regardless, Gonchar will serve as another solid defensive anchor for the Canadiens moving forward. He may have lost some of his speed, but he still has a heck of a shot. I can’t wait to see what line Gonchar will be placed on.
The Canadiens next game is against the Boston Bruins Thursday. It will be interesting to see which forward steps up to fill in for the departed Moen. I can’t wait to see how long it takes for Gonchar to score a powerplay goal for his new team.