In the second instalment of three in this year’s deadline previews, the focus
is on the Habs’ back end. Among them, who are the most likely to move as
the Habs lean closer and closer to being in seller mode and what might the
values of the most likely be? Plus, a look at some of the callup options
from Hamilton if and when there are moves made.
Please note that all odds are independent of each other. In other words,
if someone gets dealt from the above list, all odds basically get thrown out the
Peter Budaj: 15% At this time of year, there are a few teams who are
looking to add to their goalie depth. As someone who before this season
was a #1 or 1A goalie for the most part, Budaj may be interesting to a team
looking for someone that could play a few games if injuries strike. He
likely wouldn’t hold much value, just a late pick or a cheaper and lesser
Carey Price: 0.1%: After learning my lesson years ago, I can’t
proclaim a 0% odd no matter who the player is. In terms of untouchables
though, Price is likely at the top. He is having a good season although
he’s not stealing as many games as last year. He is still part of the
long-term core meaning it would have to be some sort of incredible deal for him
Chris Campoli: 85% The only way he doesn’t move is if the Habs think
they still have a shot at the playoffs and unless they lose out between now and
the deadline, they still might have an outside chance. That said, I
suspect they’ll still move him and pick up a draft pick somewhere around the
middle of the draft.
Yannick Weber: 40% Right now, Weber is deservedly in the doghouse for
his recent passive play. While he is still young and the upside is clearly
evident, it’s beginning to appear that a change of scenery may be need for him
to take that next step. On his own his value is marginal, I wouldn’t be
surprised to see the Habs try and package him with a more marketable asset.
Raphael Diaz: 20% For an undrafted 25 year old who never had played in
North America before, it has been a good season for the Swiss rookie and other
teams have taken notice. However, there may not be room for both him and
Weber moving forward, they could opt to move Diaz if his value is better.
Tomas Kaberle: 15% I don’t think he has a ton of value right now given
the reputation of his stint in Carolina but I’m not sure Pierre Gauthier is
burning up the phone lines trying to deal him either. He has produced
offensively which is what he was brought in for although two more years with his
cap hit is a little iffy too.
Alexei Emelin: 10% As a young and physical blueliner, he is the type
of defenceman every team covets…including the Habs. I could see him
moving in a bigger deal but surely not in a 1-1 or player for pick type of deal.
P.K. Subban: 5% As we all know, his sophomore season hasn’t gone all
that well. Most still see the upside in him and it would be hard to fathom
the Habs dealing him, however, I have to at least consider the possibility that
the organization may be tired of some of his antics, it wouldn’t be the first
time they’ve moved a young player for that. I don’t think they are though
considering he has toned it down lately (coinciding with his improved play no
Josh Gorges: 0.1% They just gave him a 6 year extension which means
they’re committed to him for the long term. Like Price, I can’t give him a
0% chance so he gets the next best thing.
Andrei Markov: 0.1% One would think after sitting all season, other teams might be straying away from looking at him.
On the Farm
Defensively, the Habs have a few options if they decide to move one of their
Frederic St. Denis – We saw him briefly with the Habs earlier this season and
he did reasonably well in a bottom pairing role. He is beginning to get a
little old to be considered a prospect so the Habs would be wise to give him a
bit of an evaluation period to see if he should be part of their plans moving
Garrett Stafford – The other player acquired with Petteri Nokelainen earlier
in the season, he has brought some much needed stability to Hamilton’s blueline.
If the Habs are looking for someone to log heavier minutes, he is probably the
best suited for that role.
Joe Callahan – Signed shortly after Jeff Woywitka was lost on waivers, he is
the most experienced of this trio having suited up for 27 games with Florida
last season. He plays a safe style that would make him a passable 6th/7th
defenceman down the stretch.
The other defencemen contracted to the Habs in the minors right now (Mark
Mitera, Joe Stejskal. and Alex Henry) aren’t realistic options to bring up.
Mitera is having a terrible season, Stejskal can’t crack a lineup full of injuries while Henry
wouldn’t be able to keep up with the NHL’s pace as he struggles with the AHL
pace to begin with. Brendon Nash remains injured.
The final part of this series will look at the forwards and will be published
shortly before the deadline.