By Jeff O'Brien

With the championship window beginning to close on the Alex Ovechkin-led roster, Washington Capitals went all-in on Anthony Mantha by trading wingers Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik, a 2021 first- and a 2022 second-round pick to Detroit. They have literally no room to maneuver now with $0 in salary cap room but felt it was worth the risk.

NASHVILLE, TN – MARCH 23: Anthony Mantha #39 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on March 23, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

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The Montreal Canadiens have bolstered their blue line depth ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

The club acquired veteran defenseman Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday for a fifth-round draft pick in 2021 and minor-league forward Hayden Verbeek.

Merrill appeared in 36 games with the Red Wings in 2020-21, picking up five assists while averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice time. The 29-year-old from Oklahoma City has 12 goals and 66 points in 392 regular-season games with the New Jersey Devils, Vegas Golden Knights and Red Wings since making his NHL debut in 2013-14.

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 08: Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators and Jon Merrill #24 of the Detroit Red Wings battle for the puck in the second period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on April 8, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

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The Colorado Avalanche reacquired Patrik Nemeth, trading a fourth-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings for the veteran defenseman.

The teams announced the deal Friday night. Detroit received Colorado’s fourth-rounder in 2022.

Nemeth spent two seasons in Colorado from 2017-19. He had 25 points — four goals, 21 assists — in 142 games in an Avalanche sweater.

Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman has 12 selections in this year’s draft, including two in the first round and three in the second round. They have nine picks in 2022.


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