Dreger: Canadiens expressed interest in Burakovsky

Marc Bergevin is known to be among the more active general managers behind the scenes, and he’s shown interest in Andre Burakovsky at some point.

Darren Dreger had a Tuesday morning radio hit on Montreal’s TSN 690.

With Monday’s trade deadline around the corner, the Insider was asked if he’d heard anything about Canadiens’ players, prospects, or draft picks being available.

“No, not really,” indicated Dreger. “But there’s been some tinkering, as we know, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Marc Bergevin and the Habs got involved in something. If they do, I think it’d be lower-level.

“I think that there’s been a back and forth with the Washington Capitals, and I don’t believe that there’s been anything recent. But I know a while back there was some discussions on Andre Burakovsky with Montreal, and I think Bergevin instantly went exit stage left when the ask was for Lehkonen.

“But that would have been an interesting deal. I happen to like Burakovsky. I think he’s a good player. He doesn’t seem to be a good fit anymore in Washington with a new coach in Todd Reirden. But I feel like he’s going to get traded, so maybe - just maybe - those two teams reconnect.

“But again, just to make sure everybody understands, I haven’t heard anything recent. But that’s how trades happen though, right. There’s an initial engagement and then one side doesn’t like the other in terms of the return or what you have to give up entirely, and so talks go cold. And then you creep closer to the deadline and there doesn’t seem to be another fit for a player like Burakovsky, maybe then Brian MacLellan softens his ask and looks for somebody else with the Canadiens, and they get a deal done.

“So stuff like that happens.”

Burakovsky is in the second season of a two-year, $6 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $3 million and an actual salary of $3.25 million this season. He can become a restricted free agent this summer, and will have arbitration rights.

Artturi Lehkonen is in the final season of his entry-level contract.

The conversation on Burakovsky continued briefly on 690.

“Players do have shelf lives with teams,” noted Dreger. “You guys have seen that on more than one occasion in Montreal.

“So again, I don’t know that there’s a fit, but I still feel - I think that there was a connection to Vancouver as well. I think that he needs a change of scenery, and if he gets it - even if he’s a real good third-line player, you need that. Washington needed last year that in the playoffs. You need that in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“So we’ll see, but I think he’ll be on the move.”

Contract-related info via CapFriendly