The Montreal Canadiens season was falling off the rails around the new year. They had some decent stretches in the first half of the season but also had some long losing streaks. They were in the middle of what would become their second eight game losing streak of the year when the calendar flipped to 2020.
With their playoff hopes circling around the drain, the Habs made a couple of minor moves to add some depth to their team. They signed Ilya Kovalchuk to a contract and they also dealt a fourth round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for defenceman Marco Scandella.