How Stanley Cup Finalist Canadiens were built

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Four players who have appeared in at least one playoff game this season have won the Stanley Cup previously: forwards Eric Staal (2006 with Carolina Hurricanes), Corey Perry (2007 with Anaheim Ducks) and Tyler Toffoli (2014 with Los Angeles Kings) and defenseman Joel Edmundson (2019 with St. Louis Blues). Backup goalie Jake Allen, who has not played this postseason, also won the Cup with the Blues in 2019.

Of the 23 players to appear in at least one playoff game, 12 were acquired via trade, seven were selected by Montreal in the NHL Draft, three were signed in free agency, and one was acquired via waivers.

Here’s how the roster of this Stanley Cup finalist was built, along with background on its coaching staff and general manager:

 
FORWARDS

Josh Anderson, RW: Acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 6, 2020 for forward Max Domi, Anderson scored 24 points (17 goals, seven assists) in 52 regular-season games and has scored four points (three goals, one assist) in 17 playoff games.

Joel Armia, RW: Acquired in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets on June 30, 2018 with goalie Steve Mason and two NHL Draft picks for defenseman prospect Simon Bourque, Armia scored 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 41 regular-season game and has scored eight points (five goals, three assists) in 17 playoff games.

Paul Byron, LW: Claimed off waivers from the Calgary Flames on Oct. 6, 2015, Byron scored 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 46 regular-season games and has scored six points (three goals, three assists) in 17 playoff games.

Cole Caufield, RW: Selected with the No. 15 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Caufield scored five points (four goals, one assist) in 10 regular-season games and has scored nine points (four goals, five assists) in 15 playoff games. 

Phillip Danault, C: Acquired in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 26, 2018 with a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft for forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise, Danault scored 24 points (five goals, 19 assists) in 53 regular-season games and has three assists in 17 playoff games.

Jake Evans, C: Selected in the seventh round (No. 207) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Evans scored 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 47 regular-season games and has scored one goal in four playoff games. He has missed the past seven games with a concussion.

Brendan Gallagher, RW: Selected in the fifth round (No. 147) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Gallagher scored 23 points (14 goals, nine assists) in 35 regular-season games and has scored five points (two goals, three assists) in 17 playoff games.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C: Selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft, Kotkaniemi scored 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 56 regular-season games and has scored seven points (five goals, two assists) in 16 playoff games.

Artturi Lehkonen, LW: Selected in the second round (No. 55) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Lehkonen scored 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 47 regular-season game and has scored four points (three goals, one assist) in 12 playoff games.

Corey Perry, RW: Signed as a free agent on Dec. 28, 2020, Perry scored 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 49 regular-season games and has scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in 17 playoff games.

Eric Staal, C: Acquired in a trade from the Buffalo Sabres on March 26 for a third- and fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, Staal scored 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 53 regular-season games, including three points (two goals, one assist) in 21 games with Montreal. He has scored eight points (two goals, six assists) in 16 playoff games.

Nick Suzuki, C: Acquired in a trade with the Golden Knights with forward Tomas Tatar and a second-round pick in the 2019 draft on Sept. 10, 2018 for forward Max Pacioretty, Suzuki scored 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 56 regular-season games and has scored 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 17 playoff games. 

Tomas Tatar, LW: Acquired in a trade with the Golden Knights with Suzuki and a second-round pick in the 2019 draft on Sept. 10, 2018 for Pacioretty, Tatar scored 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 50 regular-season games and has one assist in five playoff games.

Tyler Toffoli, RW: Signed as a free agent Oct. 12, 2020, Toffoli led the Canadiens in goals (28) and points (44) in the regular season and leads them with 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 17 playoff games.

 
DEFENSEMEN

Ben Chiarot: Signed as a free agent July 4, 2019, Chiarot scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in 41 regular-season games and has no points in 17 playoff games.

Joel Edmundson: Acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on Sept. 12, 2020 for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Edmundson scored 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 55 regular-season games and has six assists in 17 playoff games.

Erik Gustafsson: Acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers on April 12 for a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, Gustafsson scored 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in 29 regular-season games, including two assists in five games with Montreal. He has scored three points (one goal, two assists) in 13 playoff games.

Brett Kulak: Acquired in a trade with the Flames on Oct. 1, 2018 for defensemen Rinat Valiev and Matt Taormina, Kulak scored eight points (two goals, six assists) in 46 regular-season games and has one assist in 11 playoff games.

Jon Merrill: Acquired in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings on April 11 for forward prospect Hayden Verbeek and a fifth-round pick in the 2021 draft, Merrill had five assists in 49 regular-season games and didn’t have a point in 13 games with Montreal. He has no points in 10 playoff games.

Jeff Petry: Acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on March 2, 2015 for a second- and fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Petry scored 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in 55 regular-season games and has five assists in 15 playoff games.

Alexander Romanov: Selected in the second round (No. 38) of the 2018 draft, Romanov scored six points (one goal, five assists) in 54 regular-season games and has no points in two playoff games.

Shea Weber: Acquired in a trade with the Nashville Predators on June 29, 2016 for defenseman P.K. Subban, Weber scored 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 48 regular-season games and has scored four points (one goal, three assists) in 17 playoff games.

 
GOALIES

Carey Price: Selected with the No. 5 pick in the 2005 NHL Draft, Price is the longest-tenured member of the team. He was 12-7-5 with a 2.64 goals-against average, .901 save percentage and one shutout in 25 regular-season games and is 12-5 with a 2.02 GAA, .934 save percentage and one shutout in 17 playoff games.

Jake Allen: Acquired in a trade with the Blues on Sept. 2, 2020 with a seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft for a third- and seventh-round pick in the 2020 draft, Allen was 11-12-5 with a 2.68 GAA and .907 save percentage in 29 regular-season games (27 starts). He has not played in the postseason. 

 
COACHING STAFF

Dominique Ducharme, coach: Promoted on Feb. 24 after Claude Julien was fired, Ducharme led the Canadiens to a 15-16-7 record and a fourth-place finish in the eight-team Scotia North Division. He was an assistant for parts of the past three seasons after being hired April 27, 2018.

Luke Richardson, assistant: Hired on July 9, 2018, Richardson has coached the Canadiens in their past four games after Ducharme had a positive test for COVID-19. Richardson previously was an assistant with the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators.

Alex Burrows, assistant: Promoted on Feb. 21, 2021, Burrows was an assistant with Laval of the American Hockey League for the past two seasons.

Sean Burke, director of goaltending: Hired as a scout in 2016, Burke was promoted to director of goaltending on March 2 after Stephane Waite was fired.

 
GENERAL MANAGER

Marc Bergevin: Hired on May 2, 2012 replacing Pierre Gauthier, Bergevin has led the Canadiens to the playoffs six times in his nine seasons. He was a finalist for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award this season and in 2013-14. Previously, Bergevin was in the Chicago Blackhawks organization from 2007-12 and served as assistant GM in 2011-12.

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