Columbus, Montreal Open Trading With Domi-Anderson Swap

Columbus, Montreal Open Trading With Domi-Anderson Swap

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens got a jump on the trading action before the start of the NHL draft Tuesday with an intriguing swap of forwards.

The Blue Jackets acquired center Max Domi and a third-round pick from the Canadiens for winger Josh Anderson, who had hasn’t played since December and had his 2019-20 season ended by surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Each player is a restricted free agent who needs a new contract for next season.

Domi joins Columbus after putting up 44 points during the shortened regular season and just three during 10 games of a disappointing playoff performance. It will be the 25-year-old Domi’s third NHL organization after being drafted by and debuting with the Arizona Coyotes before two seasons with Montreal.

Strengthening our center ice position has been a priority for our club, and we are extremely excited to add a player of Max Domis talent and character, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. He is a skilled playmaker that also brings grit and competitiveness, and we think he will be a great addition to our team.

Kekalainen called Anderson a terrific hockey player and really good person. Columbus gambled on keeping Anderson in the 2017 Vegas expansion draft and lost William Karlsson, who went on to become a top-line center for the Golden Knights.

This move recoups some of his value. The third-round pick the Blue Jackets are getting is the 78th overall in this years draft, which continues Wednesday with rounds 2-7.

Kekalainen last week forecast a flurry of trades leading up to and especially after the draft before free agency opens Friday. The salary cap remaining flat at $81.5 million is one reason for that.

The caps flat and teams might have to make some tough decisions with their roster, and the free agency might look a little different after those decisions, Kekalainen said. Well see.

This was more a deal of two players getting fresh starts. The San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild made two deals Monday, and more player-for-player hockey trades and moves to clear cap space are expected.

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