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3 Trades I would make if I were Bob

Posted By Corey Krakower On Jul 30 2009 @ 7:20 pm In Montreal Canadiens | 9 Comments

I am not convinced that the Canadiens are done. There are still changes that need to be made to this team and assets they have that can be attractive to other teams. They could use a little more puck moving ability and speed from their defense, better secondary scoring and some more size up front. In the spirit of addressing those needs; here are the 3 trades I would make if I were Bob Gainey. Please keep in mind, these suggestions are not rumors, although the majority of the players I will discuss are known to be available for trade.

 

Trade #1 – Hamrlik & Metropolit to Dallas for Steve Ott & a mid round pick.

 

Why this makes sense for Dallas:

Dallas has 3 things; depth up front, a need for an experienced defenseman and cap space. Steve Ott is a good player, but he doesn’t really fit into their top 3 lines when everyone is healthy. Picking up Hamrlik gives them a defenseman who can contribute, but more importantly, he can help their young D develop. Metropolit replaces Ott as 4th line center.

 

Why this makes sense for Montreal:

Montreal is right up against the cap and needs to clear some space. Hamrlik is a good player, but he had some difficulty last year with the Canadiens and would likely welcome a trade out of the limelight of Montreal. Bringing in Steve Ott gives them a forward who can play all positions, who can hit and fight and who comes with an affordable cap hit. A line of Moen – Lapierre – Ott would be an amazing shutdown trio.

 

Trade #2 – Plekanec, Halak, O’Byrne & the pick from Dallas to San Jose for Patrick Marleau

 

Why this makes sense for San Jose:

San Jose is over the cap, need to shake up their team and have a captain who is in the final year of his contract. Patrick Marleau needs a fresh start somewhere else and it’s only a matter of time before he leaves via trade or via free agency. They need to get younger and more depth up front due to a lack of prospects (Plekanec) and they need a young, affordable goalie who can eventually replace Nabokov (Halak). They also need to get younger on defense, also due to a thin prospect pool. O’Byrne is attractive to the Sharks for 3 reasons; his age, his upside, and San Jose has hopefully never actually seen him play. While they don’t clear up much space, they add 3 players that can contribute right away and they still save a bit of money.

 

Why this makes sense for Montreal:

Plekanec will leave after this season and Halak is dispensable assuming the Canadiens still believe Carey Price is their guy. Bringing in a 6’3 center would significantly help the Habs up front by adding size to their top 2 lines and by adding secondary scoring. Marleau is high risk (he could leave after the season) but high reward if he does well and signs an extension. O’Byrne is someone I’ve never been a fan of and I have no problem throwing him into a package to get a player like Marleau.

 

Trade #3 – A. Kostitsyn, S. Kostitsyn, Gorges & a 1st rd pick to Chicago for Sharp & Campbell

 

Why this makes sense for Chicago:

Chicago needs to clear cap space now, and for the future. Therefore they need to give up long term contracts to be able to sign Keith, Toews and Kane next summer. While Sharp and Campbell are good players; replacing Sharp with the Kostitsyns doesn’t sacrifice much offensively, and unloading Campbell’s long term salary for Gorges and a 1st rd pick also makes sense. Gorges is very capable and cheap, while Campbell is not even a top 3 D on the Hawks anymore, therefore making him available. Chicago loses on this trade in the short run, but it should pay off down the road.

 

Why this makes sense for Montreal:

The last of Montreal’s problems last year are out the door in this trade. The Kostitsyns have plenty of potential, but replacing them with a 30 goal scorer and a right hand shot up front is worth the long term risk. Gorges is good, but his upside is very limited. He will likely peak as an average second pairing defenseman at best. Brian Campbell is essentially a younger, slightly more expensive, but better offensive version than Hamrlik. Imagine a PP run by Markov and Campbell! The Canadiens have fast forwards and adding Campbell will create a lot of offense off the transition game.

 

And there you have it!

 

Montreal adds secondary scoring (Sharp, Marleau), size up front (Ott, Marleau) and some speed/puck moving ability from the back end (Campbell). They give up a lot in this crazy scenario, but in my opinion, the offseason has been one giant game of risk anyway, so why not continue the trend. According to www.capgeek.com [1], Montreal has 3.225 million in cap space right now. Trade #1 saves 5.075 million, bringing the total to 8.3 million in cap space. Trade #2 results in an increase of the cap by 1.833 million, reducing the available cap space to 6.467 million. Finally, Trade #3 adds 5.876 million to the payroll, therefore giving the team just enough room (0.591 million) over the cap. The probable retirement of Laraque (1.5 million) increases that number to 2.091 million in space. That number should be just enough to fill out the rest of the roster. I understand that it is not realistic for the team to be right up against the cap, but this entire blog is one big fictional fantasy anyway, so I don’t see any harm in going right up against the cap.

 

I’ll leave you with my fictional Habs lineup;

 

Cammalleri – Marleau – Sharp

Pacioretty – Gomez – Gionta

Ott – Lapierre – Moen

Latendresse – Chipchura – D’Agostini

 

Markov – Spacek

Campbell – Weber

Mara – Gill

 

Price

Sanford

 

 

Enjoy this better, faster, stronger, tougher, deeper, more exciting, grittier, more Canadian and never going to happen version of the Montreal Canadiens!

 


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