HabsWorld.net -- 

On the heels of Saturday night’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens, who presently sit last in the Eastern Conference, have swung a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes.  Montreal has obtained foward Petteri Nokelainen and blueliner Garrett Stafford. In return, Phoenix received Brock Trotter and a seventh round draft pick.

The 25-year old Nokelainen is a fairly versatile forward who can play either wing or center. Although he has only taken 31 draws this season, his 58.1% winning percentage now makes him Montreal’s best faceoff man. At 6’1 and 195 pounds, he also adds some needed size to the Habs’ bottom attacking units. In 194 career NHL games between Long Island, Boston, Anaheim and Phoenix, the Finland native has 17 goals and 18 assists.

Garret Stafford is likely destined for a prominent role on the Hamilton Bulldogs roster. The Los Angeles native has over 500 games of AHL experience but has participated in only 7 NHL contests, registering 2 assists in the process.  Stafford may be familiar to some fans of the Bulldogs as he was involved in the Alexander Perezhogin stick swinging incident back in 2004.  With an AHL salary of $250,000, he is the second highest paid defenceman (on a two-way contract) in all of the minors.

Brock Trotter, who returned to the Canadiens organization in the offseason, heads to the Desert as the Bulldogs’ current leading scorer. In 5 games with Hamilton, he registered 2 goals and 5 assists.

To compensate for Trotter’s departure, Aaron Palushaj has also been returned to the Bulldogs today as was Andreas Engqvist.

Louis Moustakas is an Editor at HabsWorld.net and an Associate Editor at HabsAddict.com. He works for the Coaching Association of Canada in Ottawa and can be reached at [email protected]