Montreal Canadiens loser Ben Chiarot leaves a hole in defense

The Montreal Canadiens lost defenseman Ben Chiarot this offseason after trading him at the deadline last year and letting him sign elsewhere. This will leave a big hole in the defensive core of the team.

Although the team has players who can play this role, it will be a big loss for them. Without Ben Chiarot in the defensive core of the team, the Montreal Canadiens will be forced to look elsewhere.

Chiarot signed a four-year, $19.75 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings organization for those who missed out. It comes after the team traded him to the Florida Panthers for a first-rounder and Ty Smilanic at the trade deadline last season.

As Steve Yzerman looks to build a contender, Chiarot has taken much of the Canadiens’ defensive core in 2021-22. Not to mention that the team shipped Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders on draft day in a trade, so the Canadiens’ defensive core has undergone some changes.

The bottom line is that Chiarot will leave a hole in the team’s defense. Between what kind of hole it leaves and what to expect from those who replace it, many questions remain unanswered.

Losing Ben Chiarot is a tough loss for the Montreal Canadiens.

Even if the loss isn’t as fresh between a deal due and Chiarot still finding a new home in free agency, without Chiarot there will be holes. After all, Chiarot recorded 54 games with the Habs, adding seven goals and 11 assists for a total of 18 points before being traded at the deadline.

He played an important role in the Habs’ defensive core in 2021-22 before being traded. He brought value to special teams and served as one of the team’s alternate captains. He was a defender the team could rely on in almost every facet of the game.

Even as a guy who wasn’t going to find the back of the net time and time again, he found himself on the scoresheet from time to time. Beyond that, his true value has shown in the defensive zone as a penalty killer or as a solid defender overall.

Canadians have to hope that someone like David Savard or Joel Edmundsson can fill that role. These are the two candidates to fill the void left by Chiarot. The entire core of the defense is in shock as the 2022-23 season comes into focus.

Without Chiarot and a few new faces, some of them younger, in the mix, there will be an adjustment period. The Habs are hoping this year’s defensive core can still find ways to do just that.

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