Both Anderson and Domi have had great success in the past for their respective teams, but a change of scenery was needed after some recent conflicts.
In Anderson’s case, the relationship with the Blue Jackets has been tense for some time, going back to a contract negotiation in 2017 that saw him miss all of training camp. It was followed by two successful seasons, but the 26-year-old forward managed to score only one goal in 26 matches in 2019-20 while battling injury.
The Canadiens are clearly betting that Anderson can rebound and regain the player who scored 27 goals in 2018-19 and looked like one of the best power forwards in the entire league. A fourth round pick in 2012, Anderson brings size (6’3 l 220-lbs) and gives goals to the Montreal team that was lacking this season. He is also coming off a contract that hit a cap of $ 1.85MM and requires only a $ 2.1MM qualification offer (though arbitration-eligible).
For Domi, the trade comes exactly one year after scoring 72 points for the Canadiens, the franchise’s third-largest total in the Cap era. That incredible year was followed by a disappointing, 44-point season in 2019–20, which saw Domi fall into the fourth line several times and just never seem to get to his rightful place in the Montreal lineup.
He is also, importantly, coming off a contract that hit the $ 3.15MM cap and will need a $ 2.9MM qualification offer. Domi hopes to find a substantial increase in numbers that some Canadians may not find comfortable as they begin transitioning to other youth centers.
Nick suzuki And Jaspari kotkimani Montreal has a future, meaning Domi will either have to play in the bottom-six or move to the wing. Not so in Columbus, where he could remain behind as the team’s second line Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Perhaps the most interesting part in the deal is the draft pick, which seems like an asset the Canadiens should not have included in the swaps of these two players. Montreal certainly had plenty of capital, as they have ten picks in tonight’s draft, but it is striking to see that Anderson actually holds more value than Domi, while originally due to injury. Their entire season was lost.