Shea Weber has spent the last week and half or so back on the ice which is getting Habs fans very excited for his return to the line-up. There is no question that the defense has struggled this season and without one of their key pieces it was expected but this also means that GM Marc Bergevin has some choices to make on their blue line. The question is who leaves and the Habs also have the curious case of Karl Alzner ?
Jeff Petry is the Partner for Weber
One of the biggest problems the Habs have had on their blue-line since acquiring Weber was finding a suitable partner for him to play with. This season Jeff Petry has first line minutes and is averaging about 25 minutes of ice-time this season. He’s put up a goal and four assists and a third of his points have come on the power-play.
Three D men who could see themselves leaving Montreal soon are David Schelmko, Jordie Benn. Both these players have been acquired by the Habs within the past two years.
31 Year old David Schelmko has played 41 games with the Habs has putting up a goal and four assists for five points. He has also seen a good chunk of time on the Habs IR list including when he first joined the team after being traded to Montreal from San Jose. The reason we brought him in was to add another big body but it just hasn’t worked out.
Jordie Benn is another name that could be shipped out by the Habs. Benn has seen 110 games in a Habs uniform. Benn is a big body that can be used on the physical side of the game for the Habs. He can also give the Habs high-quality minutes.
Benn is a free agent at the end of the season and Schlemko is a free agent at the end of the 2019-2020 season. I would be surprised if both of these players are still Habs when their contracts come to an end.
The Curious Case of Karl Alzner
In 2007 the Habs have signed Karl Alzner to a five-year, $23.125 million dollar deal which includes a 7-team no trade clause. Alzner, to put it lightly as under-performed and has seen himself in the press-box for the majority of the season. In 82 games with the Habs last year he scored a goal and 11 assists for 12 points in 82 games. The acquisitions of Reilly and Ouellet along with Victor Mete maturing has phased out Karl Alzner. Now with contract that Habs are going to have a rough time moving him. It would cost the habs about $6 million to buy him out. The Habs don’t have a use for him and can’t get rid of him, best case scenario Habs get rid of him at the deadline to a team whose in the hunt.