Max Domi and Josh Anderson ended the season with the same number of points

Published May 14, 2021 at 10:04 PM

When the Columbus Blue Jackets traded Max Domi to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Josh Anderson, both teams hoped they had acquired an offensive player who would add to their lineup.

On the floor, it appears that the Canadiens have 'won' the trade. This season in Montreal, Anderson scored 17 goals and was a physical presence. Meanwhile, Domi was always in John Tortorella's crosshairs, playing on the fourth line at times and even getting healthy scratched for two games in a row.

But the reality is a bit more nuanced. In some ways, each player's season embodied his new team's season. While Anderson was electric on some nights, he was the same streaky player who sometimes left one wanting more as he did when he was in Columbus. Anderson is on an 11-game pointless streak and was held without a point in 33 of 52 games this season. Domi was brought into Columbus to provide an offensive spark and be an elite playmaker, even if his defensive game had warts. Instead, he struggled mightily to find a productive role, and his defensive woes were reflective of the Blue Jackets' overall inability to keep the puck out of their net.

Still, I was shocked when I saw the below tweet.

My first reaction was, "Wait, I thought Anderson had a good season?" And, surprisingly, he did, raising his points/game rate from 0.44 to 0.46, a modest improvement by his standards. Domi, on the other hand, saw his career points/game average drop to 0.44 this season.

But this is clearly not what the Canadiens, or Domi and the Blue Jackets, had in mind when they acquired Anderson. The dilemma for the Canadiens is that, unlike Domi, Anderson is under contract for six (!) more seasons. For a 27-year-old with a career-high of 47 points, that's a lot of time and money.

Let's not kid ourselves. Domi didn't exactly exceed expectations in his first year in Columbus. He failed to consistently show the high-end playmaking skill that this team desperately needs, and he clearly frustrated Tortorella with his penalty minutes (today I learned that Domi trails only Tom Wilson in PIMs this season). On the other hand, with just one more season at $5.3M before he becomes a UFA, the Blue Jackets cap flexibility is a nice silver lining over Anderson.

The Blue Jackets will be a very different team next season than they were this season. Domi will be able to reboot his game in a way that he was unable to do this season with a new coach, a new mindset, and a new vision, as well as new players. But even if that doesn't happen, the Blue Jackets won't be on the hook for another five years after next season.

At the end of the day, I'm not sure I could tell I prefer Domi to Anderson. However, both players underwhelmed in their first season with their respective new teams, in my opinion.
May 14   |   99 answers
Max Domi and Josh Anderson ended the season with the same number of points

Who is the better player?

Max Domi4343.4 %
Josh Anderson5656.6 %
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