The Montreal Canadiens may be shopping for a brand new defenseman before the Christmas holidays and it sounds like the Chicago Blackhawks may currently hold the rights to the man that Habs general manager Marc Bergevin has his eye on.
According to a report from French language news outlet TVA Sports, Bergevin has been spotted on multiple occasions in recent weeks in attendance during games played by the aforementioned Chicago Blackhawks. It is no secret that the Canadiens have been looking for a left shot defenseman since the start of the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season, and many have suspected that former first round pick Olli Maatta was the player that Bergevin was scouting. A new report however has thrown some cold water on that speculation and instead it may be a much more maligned defenseman that Bergevin is trying to pry from the Blackhawks.
TVA Sports Yvon Pedneault recently commented on the situation(translated from French)
"Erik Gustafsson earned 60 points last season, but things are not working at all this season," said Pedneault over the weekend. " I believe that the Blackhawks are currently not interested in the idea of trading Olli Maatta. In the case of Gustafsson however, there are surely offers that will be made and offers that will be listened to by Stan Bowman."
This is a very interesting development not only because of the potential trade here but also due to the fact that Bergevin and the Blackhawks organization have a very good relationship. The Canadiens general manager was an assistant general manager under Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman prior to being hired to his current position and there is definitely a relationship there that could make a trade a very realistic possibility. The two men have pulled off deals together in the past, including both the trades involving forward Andrew Shaw, and I would not be surprised to see this one materialize either.
Gustafsson has struggled this season with just 3 goals and 10 assists for a total of 13 points over 33 games, but that does not mean the Blackhawks are going to be willing to let him go for nothing. No word yet though on what the Habs may be willing to give up in exchange for the 27 year old blue liner.