The Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Michael Chaput to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Jordan Weal, the Canadiens have announced. The trade comes just a few hours ahead of the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline.
The Canadiens have acquired forward Jordan Weal from the Arizona Coyotes in return for Michael Chaput. Weal will report to the Canadiens.#GoHabsGo
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 25, 2019
In 153 career games at the NHL level, the 26-year-old Weal has scored 20 goals and 44 points split between the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and the Coyotes. Chaput has scored six goals and 22 points in 167 games split between the Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks and the Canadiens.
Both players were drafted in the third round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
With the Canadiens and Coyotes looking to make slight changes to their roster for a postseason push, this deal is an interesting one. Both Chaput and Weal have struggled to make a big impact with their respective clubs with Weal now being traded for the second time in 2019 alone.
In 47 games this season, Weal has scored four goals and 11 points, including one goal and two points in 19 games with the Coyotes. He will likely bring more offense to the Canadiens, who have been looking for an upgrade on the fourth line than Chaput has as he’s only contributed five assists in 32 games this season.
The Canadiens have impressed this season and are way ahead of their expected timeline to compete for a playoff spot as they occupy a wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference and sit five points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third place in the Atlantic Division.
While making a push for one of the top three spots in the Atlantic Division may seem like a stretch, the Canadiens postseason ambitions and hopes are very much within reach as the wildcard is wide open.
The Coyotes, on the other hand, have dealt with a plethora of significant injuries this season and are three points out of a wildcard spot in the Western Conference. The bottom half of the Western Conference is significantly weaker than the Eastern Conference, however, and despite only having 63 points, they’re legitimately in a playoff race.
The Coyotes are looking to make a slight change to their roster with a keen eye to the future, even if they fail to make the postseason.
Chaput hasn’t been a bad player for the Canadiens this season and has actually been a serviceable fourth-line forward. He wasn’t the be-all end-all for the Canadiens as far as the playoffs are concerned, however, and the team opted to add some depth scoring in Weal (who scored eight goals in each of the last two seasons) as they look to make a final push in the Atlantic Division.
This trade is a minor one and definitely won’t win or lose the Stanley Cup for either team, but it’s depth moves that can sometimes make the difference in the individual game-battles that occur.