Off to one of the worst starts in franchise history, GM Pierre Gauthier has decided to pull the trigger on a trade in an effort to spark his struggling team. The Canadiens have acquired Petteri Nokelainen and a prospect (Garrett Stafford) from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Brock Trotter and a 7th round pick.
Nokelainen has played 5 games this season. He has recorded 1 assist and averages just over 10 mins of ice time per game. He plays RW but can play C as well (58% on faceoffs this season), which I imagine is where he will be used given the need for a 4th line center. Habs fans may remember him from his Boston days, when he played on a 4th line with Jeremy Reich and Shawn Thornton. He’s not overly big (6’1), but plays a physical game. Erik Cole can breathe a sigh of relief, as Nokelainen has never scored a powerplay goal in the NHL.
In preparation for this move, the Habs sent Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist back to Hamilton earlier this morning. They have also recalled Michael Blunden, who will likely play alongside Mathieu Darche and Nokelainen.
A lot of fans have been blaming the poor start on Head Coach Jacques Martin and would like to see him replaced. The general rule is that before you fire your coach, you make a trade to try and shake the team up first. If the Canadiens don’t respond to this in their remaining 4 games in October (vs Florida, Philadelphia and Boston twice); the next change could be behind the bench.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.