Earlier this week, Marc Bergevin made a trade to change up the look of
Montreal’s forwards by dealing away Jiri Sekac for more grit in Devante Smith-Pelly.
It’s still expected that he will look to add another forward but also that he’s
still looking to make ‘hockey deals’ instead of acquiring rentals. If
that’s the case, there may be more players off Montreal’s roster getting dealt.
Which forwards could be on the move?
Please note that all odds are independent of each other.
Jacob de la Rose and Christian Thomas were
rated with the
Bulldogs last week.
Michael Bournival: 40%: After making a notable impact in the early
going last year, Bournival seems to have lost the trust of Michel Therrien who
has used him only sparingly this season. This is the time of year where
rebuilding teams will have interest in young roster players and Bournival right
now is the very definition of that. With him becoming eligible for waivers
starting next year, this is probably the best time to try to move him if he’s
not part of the plans moving forward.
P-A Parenteau: 20%: It has been speculated for a while that the Habs
are considering some players who have term left on their deal. If that is
indeed the case, Montreal will need to send some money the other way.
Parenteau has just one year left after this season and saw his role and playing
time diminish before dealing with his current concussion issues. He may be
deemed expendable as a contract to send the other way to make a bigger trade.
Lars Eller: 15%: If you were to simply look at his regular season
performance, the Habs’ willingness to move him would be a whole lot higher than
this. However, I think Eller’s strong playoff performance will have
Bergevin holding onto him unless there’s a notable player coming back. If
he plays well in this coming postseason, Eller’s trade value goes up. If
not, then I’d imagine they’ll seriously look at moving him at that time.
Manny Malhotra: 10%: If Therrien decides that he doesn’t want to have
Malhotra and his faceoff abilities in the lineup come playoff time and instead
use a more well-rounded player, it’s likely that the Canadiens could find a
trade partner simply because of his prowess at the dot. They wouldn’t get
much in return but there should be takers.
David Desharnais: 10%: While Galchenyuk may be back on the wing for
now, he’s still pegged as a centre of the future so the logjam that exists now
will still be there next season barring a trade. With only two years left
instead of three and more consistent than Eller offensively, Desharnais could be
the easier one to move for some teams that are cap-strapped long-term.
That still seems like an offseason move to me though but you never know.
Brendan Gallagher: 10%: I know that he just signed long-term and that
it’s bad form to trade someone on a new deal when that contract has yet to even
kick in. I also know that teams generally don’t want to part with
heart-and-soul guys like Gallagher. However, the Habs need a front line
right winger sooner than later. For all his strengths, Gallagher isn’t
going to be that guy. Could he be part of a package to acquire that #1 RW
though? I could see that happening although I highly doubt it will.
Brandon Prust: 7%: He plays much more of a role than he really should
on this team which will only lessen any desire to move him. The recent I
don’t have him even lower is his contract. At $2.5 million, he’s on the
expensive side for the grit with little offence that he brings to the table.
If the goal is to add a core piece that would likely carry a pricey contract,
Prust may have to be shipped out for a lesser quality but cheaper player to free
up a bit of space.
Dale Weise: 5%: While his offence has dried up as expected, Weise’s
cheap deal and versatility to move up and down the lineup make him a pretty
important piece on this team. I imagine a few teams will inquire about him
but I don’t expect Bergevin to give much thought to moving him unless it’s part
of a really big deal.
Devante Smith-Pelly: 5%: Time will tell if Smith-Pelly can be an
effective energy player for the Canadiens moving forward. That
determination won’t be made after just one game. We know that other teams
were trying to get him before the Habs stepped in so I’m sure some of those
teams will see if Montreal will flip him but that doesn’t seem likely to happen.
Tomas Plekanec: 1%: Plekanec has been even more important to the team
this season as he has stepped up his offensive game. He remains the #1
centre (even if he doesn’t play with the top wingers regularly) and Therrien
will use him in all situations. Barring a huge shocker, he’ll stay put.
Max Pacioretty: 0.1%: Pacioretty is once again one of the top goal
scorers in the league and with four years left at a very good cap hit for a
front liner ($4.5 million) makes him all but – if not entirely – untouchable.
He also may be taking the lead in the ‘battle’ for the captaincy which further
cements that he’ll still be around after Monday.
Alex Galchenyuk: 0.1%: His development has been slow but steady (and
most importantly, sustainable) which is what the Habs wanted to see by easing
him into things. There’s little doubt that he’s a cornerstone piece of the
short-and-long-term future for the Habs which means he’s going nowhere.
Last week, the Bulldogs got their own articles but what about the junior,
college, and international players? Here are a few names (aside from the
top ones that all rebuilding teams will covet) that could come
up in trade talks.
Tim Bozon (Kootenay, WHL) – While he has played better as of late, Bozon’s
overage season in the WHL hasn’t brought about a dominating season by any
stretch. With the likes of Charles Hudon and Daniel Carr impressing in
Hamilton, I think Bozon has dropped a little down the organizational depth chart
which could make him a bit more expendable. As someone with a natural
scoring touch, there certainly will be inquiries from other teams about him.
Artturi Lehkonen (Frolunda, SHL) – It has been a year of extreme highs and
lows for the 19-year-old but his overall outlook as a prospect probably hasn’t
changed from what it was at the start of the season. Trevor Timmins has
stated in the past that he’s a huge fan of the smallish Finn which may carry
some weight with Bergevin when it comes time to picking a prospect or two to get
Martin Reway (Sparta Praha, Czech Extraliga) – For me, he is the ultimate
wildcard at the deadline for Montreal. There have been rumblings that he
wants to stay where he is until he gets a top six NHL spot. If that is
indeed the case, the Habs may be motivated to move him as although he’s a great
offensive talent, there’s no guarantee he’ll become a legitimate top six NHL’er.
However, because of that talent, he will generate a fair amount of interest
around the league which leads me to believe there’s a decent chance he’ll be on