With Jacob De La Rose on the verge of being cleared for game action after a cardiac episode saw him relegated to the injured-reserve list 10 days ago, the Montreal Canadiens are going to have to cut a player in short order to be compliant with the NHL’s 23-man roster limit.
Chances are that player will be De La Rose or Nikita Scherbak.
Unfortunately for the Canadiens, if they can’t swing a trade involving either one of those two, they’ll be forced to subject one of them to waivers — and no matter who they choose to do that to, it’s more likely than not that the player will get claimed by another team.
If both De La Rose and Scherbak were so essential to the mix, they’d be in the lineup instead of skating as extras in practice.
But even if they figure into the plans as depth options, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin isn’t going to want to lose either one of them for nothing. He was the man at the helm when De La Rose was selected in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft and when Scherbak was picked in the first round of the 2014 Draft. And with both players exhibiting NHL potential since, not obtaining some type of return — however marginal — would be perceived as poor asset management.