Today, the Montreal Canadiens obtained veteran defenceman Mathieu Schneider from the Atlanta Thrashers, for a 2nd round & 3rd round draft pick. The move has been long rumoured amongst the media and fans, due to the strong connection established between Schneider, and then teammates Guy Carbonneau and Kirk Muller.
The price for Schneider was relatively high, since a 2nd round (2009) & 3rd round (2010) draft pick in any draft usually represents a good chance at selecting an NHL-calibre player. The Habs made this move for a few good reasons. The presence of a veteran defenceman, especially one who can play top 4 minutes and contribute on the power play, is required. The Habs prospect depth is sufficient to handle the loss of two upcoming picks.
A trade like this is a shake up which could help get the team out of this general funk they’ve been in over the past month or so. Schneider’s salary is relatively high at $5.625 million, but 5/8’s of the season is past, so the team should be able to handle the cap hit. Also, the team is picking Schneider up while he’s offensively hot, as he’s produced 4 assists in the last 5 games, while averaging just over 20 minutes per game. Schneider has been injured twice this season, but has played without an injury for nearly 2 straight months now, so his playing form should be ideal.
The upside of this move outweighs the downside. The team needs help on the back end, and the price was not too high to pay.