Three players on PK-unit UFA at season's end
The Montreal Canadiens' most valuable players moving toward the trade deadline may be those players carrying the league-leading Montreal Canadiens penalty-killing unit.
Travis Moen, Matthieu Darche, and Hal Gill are big pieces of the unit. Gill has the second-highest amount of short-handed ice-time on the roster, while Moen has the second-most among forwards. Darche has played substantially less than the other 2 players, but has seen his PK ice-time increase with the absence of Gionta and Nokelainen.
Among penalty-killing regulars who play forward, Travis Moen has the second-best short-handed ratio; Moen makes 1.90 successful plays for every 1 mistake or lost puck-battle. He also has the second-best short-handed risk/reward rating among forwards. He's won 63% of his d-zone puck-battles short-handed, and has completed 86% of his d-zone pass-attempts while short-handed. Only Tomas Plekanec has more successful dump-outs.
Darche has the best defensive-zone short-handed risk/reward rating among forwards. He's won 43% of his d-zone puck-battles, and has completed 83% of his d-zone pass-attempts. He averages more short-handed blocked-shots per-minute played than any other forward, and has completed 21 of 25 attempted dump-outs.
Gill has the third-best short-handed risk/reward of any Montreal player, as well as the third-best short-handed ratio. He's won 59% of his d-zone puck-battles, and has recovered 86 defensive-zone pucks while killing penalties. Only Josh Gorges has blocked more shorts or intercepted more opposition passes in the d-zone than Gill.
Contact-status may make the bulk of the NHL's league-leading penalty-killing unit available via trade, while PK success may allow Moen, Darche and Gill to help the Montreal Canadiens organization improve itself moving forward.