Stars trade Gonchar to Canadiens for Moen

The Montreal Canadiens acquired veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar today in exchange for left wing Travis Moen.

The trade for Gonchar, a proven puck-moving defenseman, should help reinvigorate Montreal’s struggling power play—which is currently 28th in the NHL with a 7.7 sergei-gonchar-nhl-vancouver-canucks-dallas-stars-850x560percent success rate. The team is also ranked 18th in the league with a 2.80 goals against per game average.

“I don’t want to run Montreal’s business, but when I look at their defense, I just think he’s a good fit for them,” said Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill. “They’ve got some good puck-movers, they got a couple other good Russian players there. He’s going to be a good fit for them. He’s a first-class individual, he brings experience of winning.”

Gonchar reportedly told Nill over the summer that he would be willing to accept a trade if it meant going to a Stanley Cup contender. The Canadiens advanced to the Eastern Conference finals during last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs where they lost to the New York Rangers. The team is currently ranked third in the Eastern Conference.

“I think Montreal’s got as good a chance as anybody to win the Cup, and it’s a good opportunity for Sergei to go in there and show what he can do to help them,” Nill said.

Gonchar carries a $5 million cap hit on a deal that expires at the end of this season. In 20 NHL seasons, Gonchar has amassed 798 points—including 579 assists, in 1,256 regular season games.

“We’ve brought here a veteran defender with a lot of NHL experience,” said Montreal GM Marc Bergevin. “We understand that Sergei is not the player he once was, but we know exactly what we’re getting.”

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