With the trade deadline now just a couple of weeks away, it’s time to kick
off our annual series of preview articles assessing the likelihood that each
player gets traded. Today, we take a closer look at the Hamilton Bulldogs
who have had a terrible season to say the least. Which players could find
themselves in new homes when the dust settles on April 3rd?
Please note that all odds are independent of each other. In other words,
if someone gets dealt from the above list, all other odds basically get thrown out the
(Some players have been omitted either for injury reasons (Nattinen/Geoffrion)
or for simply being depth players that other teams simply aren’t going to covet
(Lefebvre, Stejskal, and DeSantis). That second group of players would
likely only be dealt in deals where the Habs would have to send a contract back
to avoid going over the 50 contract limit. As they’re well under right
now, that’s not likely to happen.)
Morgan Ellis: 40%: This may come as quite a surprise to some but the
Habs, even without him, would be in good shape for defensive depth both at the
NHL and AHL level in the next couple of seasons. As a result, I think
he’ll be made available, either as a part to a trade to help the NHL team, or in
a 1-1 prospect swap bringing a young forward with some upside back, an area
Hamilton is lacking in at the present time.
Frederic St. Denis: 35%: Considering the fact that he has twice been
passed up already as a recall and that he’s a UFA at the end of the year, I
can’t see Marc Bergevin and company being particularly attached to him.
Teams out of the race may take him on to try him out down the stretch or others
may covet him to add to their farm team in preparation for a playoff run.
Greg Pateryn: 30%: Similarly to Ellis, the depth in the system
wouldn’t be too negatively affected if he were to be dealt. Although he
didn’t stand out positively in his brief stint with Montreal earlier this month,
he has shown signs that he may be able to play at the NHL level in the
Louis Leblanc: 25%: It has been a down year for the former first
rounder and it wouldn’t be too unrealistic to surmise that the organization may
have soured on him slightly. I wouldn’t expect him to be moved for a
rental but for someone who can contribute beyond this year.
Gabriel Dumont: 25%: His performance in the NHL has likely boosted his
stock slightly. He is no longer waiver exempt after this season; if the
Habs believe he isn’t going to be part of their plans beyond this season (or
that he’ll really be in tough to make the team out of training camp), now would
be the time to try to get something for him.
Robert Mayer: 20%: The fact that he’s going to the Swiss league next
season is why I have him rated this high. Montreal won’t be particularly
attached to him (they may qualify him to hold his RFA rights but that’s not a
guarantee) and there will be teams looking to add to their goalie depth,
particularly those with aspirations for the AHL playoffs. He wouldn’t
fetch much in a return though.
Michael Bournival: 20%: A defensive minded forward with a bit of
offensive upside is something a lot of teams would covet. His ceiling with
the Habs would be a third line centre and with the depth the team presently has
at that position, he’s blocked right now which could factor into their plans for
Steve Quailer: 20%: He has largely disappointed this season but a
forward with some size and offensive potential is always something that will
pique other teams’ interests. I personally think his upside at this stage
is rather low but if another team thinks they can get more out of him, this
would be a perfect time to trade the 23 year old.
Patrick Holland: 20%: His hockey IQ is what would make him interesting
to other teams but it’s that same element that makes me wonder if Bergevin
really wants to move him. The only way I think he gets moved is if it’s
part of a deal that brings in an asset that will be with the team beyond the end
of this year.
Alexander Avtsin: 15%: At this point, I think the Habs would love to
be able to move him. Three different coaching staffs have given up on him
and don’t think the rest of the league hasn’t taken notice. I’d put him
higher but I honestly don’t know if any team would take him at this time, his
value has eroded that far.
Michael Blunden: 10%: There will be teams out there who would want to
add a veteran AHL winger with some NHL experience for extra depth heading into
the playoffs. However, if the Habs moved him, then they’d be on the market
for that exact type of player. It would be much easier to simply keep him
in case injuries arise.
Dustin Tokarski: 10%: He has been nothing short of phenomenal since
joining the Bulldogs and I think has made a good case to at least get a chance
at the backup role to Carey Price next season. If management doesn’t see
it the same way, then moving him now would make sense as he may not clear
waivers next season if they try to send him down.
Nathan Beaulieu: 5%: Despite some struggles this year, he still looks
to be a very important part of Montreal’s future. Accordingly, I doubt
they’ll be entertaining much in the way of offers for him. It would have
to be a very significant trade yielding a long-term core piece for him to be
dealt I would think.
Jarred Tinordi: 5%: The Habs lack a big, physical defenceman and have
for a while now. That’s why it would make so little sense for the Habs to
move him unless, like with Beaulieu, a long-term core piece comes back the other
Petteri Nokelainen: 5%: Teams could have plucked him off of waivers
for free not too long ago. I doubt his performance has done anything to
change anyone’s mind since then. But, there is a chance someone wants him
for an AHL playoff run or would take him in exchange for a different depth