Habs trade for defenceman Eric Gustafsson; lose Victor Mete on waivers

Dallas Stars' Jason Dickinson (18) moves in on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price as Canadiens' Victor Mete (53) defends during second period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Saturday, February 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A day after trading for one reinforcement on the blueline, the Montreal Canadiens added another.

Just before the National Hockey League's 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Habs traded a seventh round draft pick in the 2022 draft to the Philadelphia Flyers for defenceman Erik Gustafsson. 

As part of the deal, the Flyers will retain 50 per cent of Gustafsson's salary for the remainder of the season. 

Gustafsson, a former fourth round pick in the 2012 NHL draft, has one goal and nine assists in 24 games this year, but has shown more offensive ability in the past. In 2018-19, he scored 17 goals and 43 assists with the Chicago Blackhawks, both career highs.

In total, he has scored 29 goals and 100 assists in 245 NHL games.

Earlier in the day, the Habs lost another defenceman. Victor Mete was placed on waivers on Sunday and, hours before the National Hockey League's trade deadline, he was picked up by the Ottawa Senators.

The change in scenery comes during a difficult season for the 22-year-old, who has regularly found himself a healthy scratch. He's played just 14 games for the Habs this season, racking up three assists.

Merci pour tout, Victor. Bonne chance à Ottawa!

Thank you for everything, Victor. Good luck in Ottawa! pic.twitter.com/Nw6TXYp9T5

— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 12, 2021

It's a long way from his first few years in the league. Taken in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL draft, Mete surprised many with a strong training camp in 2017, earning a spot on the big club and playing some major minutes with Shea Weber.

Despite his strong play, he struggled offensively, and didn't score his first NHL goal until last year.

In total, Mete has played 185 games with the Habs, scoring four goals and 30 assists.

The Canadiens had added another defenceman on Sunday, trading for Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings. 

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