Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens

The Minnesota Wild are still in search of a number one center. The Montreal Canadiens will target right side defensemen

Dec 15, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Kirby Dach (77) defends against Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg (3) escapes with the puck during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Wild In Search of a Number One Center

Joe Smith and Michael Russo of the Athletic: Russo and Smith held a two-part mailbag and were asked about the need for the Minnesota Wild to fix their center position and find a number one center that surrounds Marco Rossi.

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As Smith and Russo, write the Wild had the center depth to win a playoff series this year against the Dallas Stars. However, the centers of Freddy Gaudreau, Ryan Hartman, and Joel Eriksson Ek were all hurt. The lack of depth is what hurt the Wild against the Stars.

As Smith and Russo note it is concerning that Marco Rossi may not have a role inside the organization anymore. While he will be given every opportunity to be that number one center the franchise desperately needs.

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Canadiens Will Target Right Side Defencemen

Marc Dumont of Montreal Hockey Now: Dumont writes the Montreal Canadiens have too many left-shot defencemen and need to address the right side of their defense during the offseason.

Dumont looks at four defensemen the Montreal Canadiens could target in free agency to shore up the right side of their blue line.

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John Klingberg – Klingberg is set to be a free agent this offseason and as Dumont writes, the Canadiens had interest in him before he signed with the Anaheim Ducks. While Klingberg has his faults defensively, his offensive ability can’t be denied. Adding a veteran presence to a young team makes sense. The sticking point could be the term and price tag as Klingberg is on the wrong side of 30.

Damon Severson – Severson appears to have played his last days with the New Jersey Devils. As Dumotn notes, the Devils have a ton of depth on the right side. Severson will earn the biggest contract of his career this summer. He is the type of player head coach Martin St. Louis wants as he plays physical and can excel offensively. Convincing Severson to sign in Montreal long-term. or at all, will be the key.

Kevin Shattenkirk – Shattenkirk is the oldest of the group on the list. Even though he is getting older, he still can offer something to a young team like Montreal. Just look at what he did in Anaheim. His numbers were decent. A short-term deal would be perfect along with the right price.

Radko Gudas – As Dumont notes, Gudas has a reputation of being the most hated player and that’s a good thing for the way he plays the game. His physical style on defense gets under the skin of the other teams in the league. Not to mention his play in his own zone is excellent. Teams trade for players like Gudas. Though the Canadiens have a player in Arber Xhekaj, he isn’t great in his own zone. That is where Gudas comes in.