The Montreal Canadiens have needed a number of pieces heading down the final stretch of the season.
Their superhuman goaltending has masked it, but there’s been little denying the fact that the Canadiens are small and offensively stagnant. They’ve drafted some immensely talented names in recent years — P.K. Subban and Alex Galchenyuk arguably paving the way for a bright future in Quebec — but they’ve lacked the size, defensive depth, and secondary scoring needed to be a true Stanley Cup contender.
Although they haven’t been the busiest team at the trade deadline, though, they’ve certainly made a number of moves that directly target their problem areas — and after adding size with Devante Smith-Pelly and defensive depth with Jeff Petry, they’ve now brought in Brian Flynn to bolster that much-needed secondary scoring.
MTL has acquired Brian Flynn from BUF. Believed to be for a 5th round pick. #TradeCentre
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 2, 2015
Flynn, coming from the Buffalo Sabres, is about as far removed from the archetypal Montreal skater as you can get. He’s tall and lanky, working on the right wing to provide what will likely be a defensive bottom six role for his new franchise as he quietly bolsters offense through solidified two way play. On a possession-starved Buffalo roster, he was relatively one of the stronger defensive players — Flynn was iced in a nearly 60-40 ratio of defensive zone starts — and that should likely translate well to a team that clearly boasts better possession numbers than his former club.
The Massachusetts native comes to Buffalo with a low cap hit — he’s only counting $637,000 against the salary cap — but with surprisingly good numbers. He’s a -3 for the worst team in the NHL, pitching in with five goals and twelve assists over fifty-four games in his third NHL season. His 15:33 ATOI will likely see a dip with the Canadiens, but he could make for a strong player on the team’s penalty kill moving forward.
Flynn was brought in to Montreal for a fifth round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.