Defenseman Victor Mete has reportedly requested a trade from the Montreal Canadiens -- could the Detroit Red Wings look to add him right now?
It’s been a week since that trade request went public for the 22-year-old. He’s only played two games for the Canadiens this season. This is after he signed a one-year deal with the team in October. Mete has been a healthy scratch in Montreal after rookie Alexander Romanov played his way into the lineup, bumping Mete. His contract carries a $735,000 salary cap hit and he’ll become a restricted free agent this summer.
The Red Wings have been named among several teams that could be in play for Mete. The 4th-round pick in 2016 appeared to be coming into form this past season with the Canadiens -- he had 11 points in 51 games played. He’s known as a quick, highly skilled player with enough potential to fetch something decent in return for Montreal. That’s why they’re not throwing him on waivers -- they don’t want to risk losing Mete for nothing.
Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman clearly has not been afraid to add low-risk, short-term contracts and the salary cap is not an issue for him. Detroit has plenty of space and nearly a dozen contracts coming off the books at the end of the season.
What would Yzerman be willing to give up to add Mete to the Red Wings defensive group? SportsNet’s Mike Johnston points out Filip Hronek is the only Detroit d-man under the age of 26. Mete’s age and potential could be a way for Yzerman to address this issue sooner than later.
Mete has played 173 games in the NHL. He famously went 127 games before scoring his first career goal. But he finally found the back of the net this past season, then scored three more. He’s only 22, which is super young, especially for defensemen who have been known to hit their prime a bit later in the league.
I’d at least take a swing at a deal with Montreal GM Marc Bergevin, but there’s no doubt other teams will be calling.
More Red Wings headlines: