Panthers pay hefty price for Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot

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The Florida Panthers have made a huge splash and set the rental defenseman market high. On Wednesday, they acquired Ben Chiarot for forward Tyler Smilanic, a 1st-round pick in 2023 and a 4th-round pick in 2022. The 4th-round selection was obtained from the New York Rangers earlier today in a deal for Frank Vatrano.

Montreal will also retain 50% of Chiarot’s salary.

The Canadiens had plenty of suitors for Chiarot’s services and held firm to their asking price.

“A leader and a pillar of our defense since arriving in Montreal,” tweeted the Habs social media account. “Thanks for everything and best of luck in Florida, Big Ben!”

Panthers acquire Ben Chiarot

“Ben is a solid veteran defenseman that will bring both experience and size to our blue line,” Panthers GM Bill Zito said. “Having reached the Stanley Cup Final with Montreal last season, he is a player that knows what it takes to make a deep playoff run, which is what our organization is striving for in these next few months.”

Chiarot, 30, has 18 points in 54 games this season. The 6-3, 234-pound defenseman also played big minutes, leading the Habs in TOI with 23:33.

Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano is the next high profile defenseman on the rental market.