The greatest Russian defensemen in NHL history has been traded north of the border as the Montreal Canadiens announced the acquisition of the 40-year-old journeymen. In return, the Habs send Travis Moen. Gonchar, who just rejoined the Stars lineup after missing the first 11 games with an ankle injury will return to the eastern conference having played there his entire career before signing an ambitious contract last summer.
The Chelyabinsk native, who is playing in his 20th NHL season, will attempt to help the woeful Montreal power-play and could slide in with fellow countryman, Andrei Markov, who is the third highest scorers amongst Russian defensemen. While both are now aged stars the last time the NHL has seen such a powerful Russian tandem was during the Slava Fetisov- Alexei Kasatonov/Vladimir Konstantinov era in the early 90s.
While it’s hard to determine how much more Gonchar has in his tank, perhaps returning to the conference he’s known the longest could provide a jolt to highest scoring NHL Russian blue-liner. This will be Gonchar’s sixth NHL franchise having made stops in Washington, Boston, Pittsburgh, Ottawa.
Dallas will pay $400,000 of Gonch’s salary leaving Montreal with a 4.6M$ cap hit.