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.
With the team seemingly unlikely to deal top picks or prospects, there’s a good
chance that there will be some Bulldogs on the move. Which ones are most
likely to get dealt? Here are our odds for the goalies and defencemen.
Please note that all odds are independent of each other.
Joey MacDonald: 15%: Despite being signed to be the starter, it’s
clear that MacDonald has lost that role. Given that, perhaps they’d look
to move him to save a couple of bucks since his two-way deal is still rather
pricey. If the Habs opt to bring in more veteran insurance like they did
with Devan Dubnyk last year, that could also push MacDonald out of the lineup.
Both of those scenarios are far from guarantees though.
Mike Condon: 5%: The rookie is a main reason that the
offensively-challenged Bulldogs still have a shot at the postseason. He
was recently rewarded with a two year extension and right now, it’s likely
that he supplants Dustin Tokarski as the backup to Carey Price at some point in
As a result, I don’t think they’re looking to move him but because of his new
cheap deal, there may be a few teams who kick the tires.
Bryan Allen: 45%: This may seem high considering he has been buried in
the minors for six weeks now with no takers but if the Habs are going to try to
make a big splash, they may have to send some money the other way and Allen is
the most likely to be shipped for that reason. They could also trade him for
next-to-nothing with 50% retention which would actually give them a bit of cap
space as he’s still on the books at over $2.5 million currently. That said,
unless they’re really constrained cap-wise, I could see them keeping him for
depth as well so him moving is far from a guarantee.
Greg Pateryn: 35%: Pateryn hasn’t had the best of seasons but he’s
still young enough that there should be a few teams that show interest.
His cap hit next season (below the league minimum) might also be appealing to
some cap-strapped teams. The fact that it’s a one way deal may scare some
suitors off but there’s a decent chance that Pateryn could be peddled for a
Morgan Ellis: 20%: I know he’s in Wheeling but there’s no article for
Wheeling prospects so I’ll add him here. Ellis has had a nice offensive
resurgence which might catch the eye of a team or two. Also, the Bulldogs
have a ton of defensive depth but not a lot up front; they would be wise to flip
a defenceman for a forward prospect. To me, Ellis seems most likely to be
the one to fit that bill.
Jarred Tinordi: 15%: Pretty much all of the insider reports (and
speculation) suggest that GM Marc Bergevin is looking to make a deal that could
have ramifications beyond this season. If that’s the case, Tinordi’s name
is likely to come up somewhere in the conversation, especially if Montreal is
looking for a blueliner. I highly doubt that Tinordi would be moved for a
rental player though.
Dalton Thrower: 10%: Like Ellis, he’s not with the Bulldogs but
there’s no ECHL prospect article coming. It hasn’t been a great year for
the first year pro but he still is only a few years removed from being a second
round pick and a couple of strong seasons in junior. Teams aren’t going to
be calling about him specifically but I could see Thrower being including as a
‘pick-one’ player (where a team gets a list of a few prospects to pick one from)
in a trade offer.
Darren Dietz: 10%: Dietz turned some heads in training camp and
although he hasn’t progressed as much as perhaps the Habs would have liked this
year, he is slowly but steadily coming along. With his tools, a few teams
are probably keeping tabs on him and thus there’s a chance he could be moved.
I think Bergevin would try hard to keep him before dealing him away though.
Mac Bennett: 5%: If Bennett was close to being NHL ready, I’d have
these odds a lot higher. Given his age and relative lack of NHL readiness
though, I don’t see too many teams having the 23-year-old anywhere near the top
of their list.
Davis Drewiske: 5%: Quietly, he has been Hamilton’s top defenceman
this year. He has shown in the past that he can be passable in a pinch in
the NHL so I expect that Bergevin will want to have the veteran around for depth
while keeping the Bulldogs’ #1 blueliner in place for a hopeful playoff run.
Magnus Nygren: 1%: His concussion issues and general disdain towards
playing in the minors have killed any shot there may have been at moving him
before the deadline. If he comes back and plays well at the end of the
year, there should be more suitors in the offseason but he’ll almost certainly
stay put for now.
AHL contracts: Joe Finley, David Makowski, Bobby Shea – The latter two
presumably could be dealt in an AHL swap/loan for forward depth although Shea
has made a bit of an impact since getting recalled recently. Finley’s role
has diminished in recent weeks but as one of Hamilton’s designated tough guys, I
don’t see them wanting to move him.