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Although the Habs weren’t overly busy at the NHL’s Trade Deadline like many
of us hoped, they did still get a pair of moves accomplished.  Andrei
Kostitsyn was dealt to the Predators while enforcer Brad Staubitz was acquired
via the waiver wire.  Having had time to ponder the moves, our writers
offer up their thoughts.

Matt Dilworth: Given that the GM’s in general seemed reluctant
to part with any high draft picks at the Trade Deadline, I think we can be
satisfied with the return that Kostitsyn garnered.  It was no secret to Habs’
fans that Andrei had been putting up one of his consistent inconsistent streaks
up until that point, so the fact that Gauthier nabbed a second round pick is
worthy of praise in my opinion.  I have no doubt that some will bemoan this move
and argue that Kostitsyn a) will suddenly evolve into a 35 goal scorer with a
new coach, or b) would have signed for less than market value to stay in
Montreal, but the truth is that no one can guarantee these things.  Without
the ability to foresee the future or read player’s thoughts, obtaining a 2nd
round pick for what has been a 20 goal scorer with marginal physical upside is
fair value.  As for Staubitz, he fills the need for a warm body in Montreal that
can fight (and win!) against some heavyweights, but I don’t think he will be a
part of Montreal’s future moving forward.

Brian La Rose: My reaction to the Kostitsyn deal is a
resounding ‘meh’.  It’s not an overpayment nor an underpayment, that’s
about what his value should have been given his struggles and impending UFA
status.  Adding a third pick in Round 2 of the 2013 draft is a bonus, not
only is the depth of that class a little deeper but if the Habs do turn it
around next year, they should be able to deal one for an upgrade without
worrying too much about hurting the future.  Although Staubitz wasn’t
directly part of the deal, he more or less was as the Kostitsyn trade opened up
the contract spot that was used to claim him; had they made the move with
Nashville after 12 PM, they wouldn’t have got him.  We all know what
Staubitz brings to the table, this is a good opportunity for him to prove he
belongs in the NHL beyond this season.  I wouldn’t have picked him up (I’d
have rather kept the spot open for a possible NCAA signing to step in right
away) but I don’t think he’ll hurt the team any in the few minutes he’ll play
each game.  If he can deter some opponents from taking liberties, all the

Norm Szcyrek:
I am content with the return on the Kostitsyn trade.  The 2nd round pick will
be helpful for a Habs team that is truly in a rebuilding/retooling mode
now.  The 2013 draft is supposed to be deeper than this season’s draft, so the
move should help whomever is running the team.  Andrei’s value among the rest
of the league was at an all time low, since his production was down this
season and his ice time was relatively cut because of that.  Nashville seems
like a good fit for Andrei, and them for him, given the rejuvenation of little
brother Sergei’s career since moving to the Predators.  That factor alone
certainly gives Nashville the edge in signing him before Andrei becomes a UFA
this summer.

The move to acquire Brad Staubitz on waivers was a puzzling one.  Montreal
rarely ventures into the waiver waters, and less likely to do so to get a one
dimensional pugilist like Staubitz.  However, given the unknown return to play
date of injured Travis Moen, perhaps the move is intended to give some
insurance on the 4th line, in case Moen is lost for the rest of this season.

Mitchell Tierney: There is no doubt that Andrei Kostitsyn had to
leave the club. He was an under performing player who was starting to bring
the team down. As for the value of the deal I think it was in the range that
it should be. A trade to compare this with would be the Antoine Vermette to
Phoenix deal. Vermette is a player who is similar to Kostitsyn, with a bigger
upside so far in his career and a contract beyond this season. For Vermette
the Blue Jackets received the same price as the Habs did for Kostitsyn plus a
career minor league goalie. A 1st round pick was probably a little too much to
ask for Kostitsyn considering there was only one 1st round pick traded at this
years deadline. That 1st went in the Paul Gaustad trade, meaning that if
Travis Moen was on the market he probably would have gotten a comparable

Claiming Staubitz is a move that emphasizes the new direction the organization
is moving in when it comes to player type. He is an enforcer, and
will be the first one the Habs have had since Georges Laraque was bought out
by the team. The Canadiens are paying Staubitz very little so it is a good
experiment to see how his style of play fits into the roster. We will see very
soon if it has a positive or negative impact. At the price it was a good move
for the team. They risked very little in this pick up.

Casey Wells: Before the day even began, most Hab fans must have
assumed that Kostitsyn had played his last game wearing a
Montreal Canadiens sweater. The Canadiens made it official early in the day by
sending Kostitsyn to Nashville in exchange for a second round pick in 2013 and
the conditional 5th round draft pick previously involved in the Hal Gill
trade. The Kostitsyn brothers unite in Nashville, leaving many Canadiens fans
left to wonder what happened to a player who had slipped to 10th overall in
the 2003 draft, and brought great promise to re-energize the franchise. Over
the development of his career, Kostitsyn was given multiple opportunities to
step up, but failed to ever blossom fully as a player.

Though I left grumbling that Kostitsyn only fetched a second rounder, I was
shocked to see that the Buffalo Sabres were able to trade Paul Gaustad, drafted
in the 7th round, 220th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, with only 7 goals
and 10 assists this season for a highly revered 1st round pick. Gaustad’s best
season was when he posted a career high 36 points in 2007 – 2008. In comparison
Andrei had a career high 53 point season that year, and in the 2010 -2011
regular season posted 45 points. This year he has accumulated a respectable 12
goals and 12 assists. With both players UFA’s this year, this leaves me to
conclude, that if the Canadiens had held out a little longer, they could have
gotten more.  As for Staubitz, Montreal is only responsible for half
his salary and cap hit, and I believe he has been brought in to protect some of
Montreal young assets.