5 Realistic Trade Targets for Montreal Canadiens in 2013-14
The Montreal Canadiens might need to make a trade or two in order to save their 2013-14 season.
The team is currently in a free fall. The Habs have lost four in a row by a combined score of 19-5. Since December 10, Montreal has won just three times in regulation over 21 games.
The Canadiens need a change. Whether that will be a coaching change or a trade remains to be seen.
If general manager Marc Bergevin chooses to stick with coach Michel Therrien, he'll likely make a couple of moves to shake up the Canadiens roster. Montreal desperately needs a scorer and a solid defenseman if it hopes to compete for a playoff spot.
Here are five realistic trade targets for the Montreal Canadiens before the 2013-14 trade deadline.
The Montreal Canadiens need to upgrade their defense if they hope to make the playoffs. They simply can't compete with Raphael Diaz, Douglas Murray and Francis Bouillon in the lineup.
The New York Islanders look like they'll be sellers at the deadline. Andrew MacDonald will be a name a lot of general managers will call about. He'll be an unrestricted free agent at season's end and will be looking for a hefty raise from the $575,000 he's making now.
MacDonald is having a solid year in 2013-14. He has three goals and 20 assists in 55 games. He also leads the team in ice time per game (25:47) and leads the defensemen in total power-play time. He logs big minutes and can play on any pairing.
With a lot of teams in play for a solid defenseman, MacDonald probably wouldn't come cheap. He might take a mid-range prospect plus a second- or third-round pick.
MacDonald would be a huge upgrade for Montreal's defense, however, and he'll likely be a name Marc Bergevin considers before the trade deadline.
P.A. Parenteau is a hot name in trade rumors right now and could find himself in Montreal sooner rather than later.
There were actually reports out of Montreal on Monday evening that general manager Marc Bergevin had turned down an offer that would've sent Rene Bourque to Colorado for Parenteau, like this tweet by TVA Sports' Louis Jean:
Those reports were later disputed by RDS' Francois Gagnon, who tweeted that is was actually Colorado who turned down the offer, which would make much more sense:
If Parenteau was indeed offered for Bourque, any GM in their right mind would have accepted without hesitation. Parenteau is simply a much more valuable hockey player.
Sean Gentille of The Sporting News points out that, even though Parenteau is having a somewhat disappointing season, his stats are much better than Bourque's.
Parenteau has 69 points in 89 games with Colorado, which works out to 2.22 points per 60 minutes. Bourque has just 27 points in 104 games in Montreal—a pathetic 0.83 points per 60 minutes.
Simply put, Parenteau would be a huge upgrade over Bourque and would jump right into Montreal's top-six forward mix.
Trading Bourque straight up for Parenteau likely isn't enough return for Colorado. If that is the case, Bergevin should strongly consider upping his offer to get Parenteau to Montreal.
Schultz is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2013-14 and, with Edmonton being nowhere near the playoffs yet again, GM Craig MacTavish will want to get something in return.
As noted before, Montreal needs to do something about its defense. Schultz is certainly not having a great season, but he'd be an upgrade over Raphael Diaz, Francis Bouillon or Douglas Murray.
Schultz has just three assists and is a minus-15 on a terrible Edmonton team. He is averaging 16:41 in ice time again while killing penalties and getting some time with the man advantage.
There is nothing impressive about Schultz's 2013-14 season, but you can't look solely at his numbers when considering he plays for the Oilers. He'd surely be an upgrade on Montreal's third-defensive pairing and would also bring some solid veteran leadership.
Matt Moulson said it best when recently asked about the trade rumors surrounding him, via Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune on Twitter:
Matt Moulson: "People have been trading me since the day I showed up in Buffalo. It's out of my control."— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) January 27, 2014
First, he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. CBC.ca believes the Sabres will likely have to shell out more than $6 million to re-sign the 30-year-old. That's usually not how teams rebuild.
Second, the Moulson move was made by former GM Darcy Regier. Therefore it's unclear what new general manager Tim Murray thinks of Moulson, nor is he by any means married to the idea of having Moulson in Buffalo.
From Montreal's perspective, Moulson would fill a huge need up front. He's a scorer with size (6''1", 200 lbs.) that would jump right into a top-six role on the left wing.
In 2013-14, Moulson has 15 goals and 15 assists in 49 games. He has 254 career regular-season points in 371 games.
It would obliviously take a lot for Montreal to acquire Moulson and it would be at a high risk. A first-round pick and a prospect would likely get him to Montreal, but then GM Marc Bergevin would have to get him signed to an extension to make it worth the asking price.
Trading for Moulson would be a big deal for Montreal, but the time might be right for Bergevin to make a significant move. The team is facing adversity and it might be time to shake things up.
Montreal is in dire need of offense. Trading for Thomas Vanek would certainly help.
Bleacher Report's Allan Mitchell writes that New York will likely try to get a return on Vanek if they cannot sign him to an extension before the trade deadline.
Most NHL teams would be interested in acquiring Vanek's services. He's a top-level scorer in the NHL and would help any team he goes to. But his $7.1 million cap hit makes trading him a bit more tricky, and Montreal has room to take him on.
The Canadiens would have to give up a lot to get Vanek (Mitchell suggests a first-round pick and top-goalie prospect Zachary Fucale). That's a lot for someone who is an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
Bergevin has stated that he will not mortgage the future for a quick fix. For that reason, he'd likely need assurance that he could get Vanek signed long term before pulling the trigger on such a big deal.
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