According to The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta, the Washington Capitals are interested in pending unrestricted free agent right-handed defenseman Brandon Montour after trading Brenden Dillon to the Winnipeg Jets for a second-round pick in the 2022 and 2023 NHL Drafts on Monday night. Pagnotta did not link the Capitals to any other unrestricted free agents.
“Teams looking to round out their top-four will have Montour on their radars. He stepped in nicely in Florida, and while the Panthers have spoken to him about returning, he’s likely going to see what’s out there in the market before making any decisions,” Pagnotta wrote. He added that the Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes were other teams that were interested in Montour.
While averaging 20:29 per game, including 31 seconds on the power play and 1:44 on the penalty kill, last season, the 27-year-old tallied seven goals, 18 points, a -5 rating, a 49.26% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, a 47.77% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and a 49.6% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 50 games. Montour was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Florida Panthers on April 11.
In 293 career NHL games with the Panthers, Sabres, and Anaheim Ducks, Montour has recorded 31 goals, 109 points, and a +15 rating. The best season of his NHL career came in 2017-18 with the Ducks when Montour set career-highs in goals (nine), assists (23), points (32), and plus-minus (+16).
Screenshot: Natural StatTrick
For a Capitals team that is trying to get younger and up against the salary cap, perhaps Montour would fit the bill. He fit in well with the Panthers after getting traded from Buffalo and the first time he got traded seemed to put some fire in him.
During the Panthers’ six-game first-round Stanley Cup Playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Montour was held off of the scoresheet and posted a -4 rating.
Montour’s next contract will likely come in the $2 million range. The Capitals currently have $3,418,695 remaining in cap space with goaltender Ilya Samsonov (pending restricted free agent) in need of a new contract, so they will likely have to make room for Montour under the NHL salary cap. They are also in need of a tandem goaltender.
According to 98.7 FM Phoenix’s John Gambadora, the Capitals and Vancouver Canucks are interested in Arizona Coyotes pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Antti Raanta, who went 5-5-2 with a .905 save percentage and a 3.36 goals-against average last season and is 93-65-20 with a .919 save percentage, a 2.46 goals-against average, and 13 shutouts in 198 career NHL games with the Blackhawks, Rangers, and Coyotes.
Coyotes should be very active with trades/free agency. Phil Kessel has likely played his last game for Arizona – Vegas and Fla could be where he goes. Washington and Vancouver have some interest in backup goalie Antti Raanta. And Darcy Kuemper is a target of Edmonton and Colorado
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) July 27, 2021
By Harrison Brown