NHL News: Canadiens trade for Red Wings Jon Merrill; Capitals strike a deal; and Panthers sign Nikita Gusev

Apr 1, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jon Merrill (24) skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers during the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens have placed Victor Mete on waivers and it’s possible that’s a prelude to another deal by tomorrow if he’s claimed. They did replace him by trading for John Merrill of the Detroit Red Wings. This is an obvious upgrade for the Habs defense.

Canadiens acquire John Merrill

Per the team’s website:

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced on Sunday that the team has acquired defenseman Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2021 (previously acquired from Ottawa) and forward Hayden Verbeek.

Merrill, 29, appeared in 36 games with the Red Wings this season, registering five assists, posting a plus-2 differential, and serving 12 penalty minutes. The 6’03” and 195 lbs defenseman also recorded 35 shots on goal.

Washington Capitals free up some cap space

The Capitals picked up $800,000 in cap space after trading Jonas Siegenthaler for a third round pick. This is likely an opening for another trade.

Nikita Gusev signs with Panthers

After being bought out by the Devils, Nikita Gusev has signed a one year deal with the Panthers. An obvious depth add for a the remainder of the season.

Per the team’s website:

Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Nikita Gusev on a one-year contract for the 2020-21 season.

Nikita is a highly skilled and creative forward who plays the game with great speed and playmaking ability,” said Zito. “He has proven himself to be a tremendous offensive talent throughout his career. We are thrilled for Nikita to join the Panthers and look forward to what he can add to our team.”