While Jeff Petry’s acquisition stole the spotlight on Trade Deadline Day, the Habs quietly added a pair of players from Buffalo in Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn. As purely depth pickups though, there have been many who have wondered why Marc Bergevin bothered to make these moves even though the cost was very small. Do our writers feel the same way?
Simon Aronson: With the additions of Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn, Marc Bergevin has added depth to the bottom six and given the Canadiens the makings of what should be one of the better fourth lines in the NHL. Mitchell and Flynn are good skaters and both pose above average speed, both can play centre and wing and contribute in penalty killing roles. Mitchell is the more physical of the two players and can be an agitator. Overall, these are not major moves but I do believe they improve the team. The Canadiens get more speed and depth going into the playoffs and that should make them a tougher team to play against.
Matt Gauthier: Remember when the Habs acquired Weise and Weaver? I remember. What wasteful and worthless moves! Those average players would be useless and, most importantly, would be hindering with the development of the prospects! It’s the initial feeling I had Monday when Bergevin acquired Flynn and Mitchell.
However, I was quick to remember how valuable those “useless” players came about for the Habs playoff run last season. Even today, Weise is a key ingredient to the team success, while Weaver adds valuable depth to the D core. From my point of view, Flynn and Mitchell seem like unnecessary parts of what is turning out to be a nicely shaped puzzle. I have, however, come to trust Bergevin and his team of pro scouts. The key to me is to understand that Bergevin acquired them by choice. Those players were targeted by the Habs, not add-ins in larger trades, so there is no doubt that the scouts and management have been attracted by specific things in those players to want to add them to the roster, and that they are making the Habs a better team today.
Brian La Rose: Extra depth is always handy to have in the postseason and when it can be acquired as cheaply as it was, I’m certainly not going to complain. Flynn has a bit of skill and with another year of RFA eligibility left, is someone that should be able to help beyond this season. He’s not going to break the bank in the offseason so it’s hard to imagine that he won’t at least be qualified. If you can get an NHL’er for a year and a bit for a future fifth rounder, you take that and run.
As for Mitchell, his experience should come in handy on a team that is still somewhat young up front. Considering they added him for a return similar to what they paid for George Parros last year, there’s no way they can really lose this deal.
I also like the trade for the Hamilton Bulldogs. The moves forced Greg Pateryn and Michael Bournival off the roster to stay in compliance with the 23-man roster limit that was in effect until 3:01 PM EST on deadline day. Both players have been key cogs for the Bulldogs and freeing up Bournival in particular to go down should give a low scoring lineup a lift. They’re fighting for a playoff spot and this will be a big help.
Paul MacLeod: Marc Bergevin shored up the fourth line and added needed veteran depth without sacrificing any significant assets. Flynn is another of the hard working, character guys that Bergevin continues to bring to the team; he is also an RFA next season so he is not necessarily a rental. He at best could be a mini-Weise, at worst he helps solidify a fourth line over-populated with rookies and may bring some much needed bottom-6 production.
Mitchell is a high-energy, hard working depth player who skates well and finishes his checks. Again, a character guy brought in to fit the team that Bergevin is building. As he was obtained for Nevins and a 7th rounder (with Buffalo retaining 50% of his salary) the cost to get him was low and he is so happy to be in Montreal he will be a dynamo on the 4th line.
These are relatively minor moves, but clearly the result of thought, planning, and excellent pro scouting.
Norm Szcyrek: I like the pickups of Mitchell and Flynn. Both are improvements over the players the Habs dispatched to the AHL. They have good speed with decent size, and combine it with good hockey sense and tenacity on the forecheck. Each player will help the Habs and having played together before they should adapt quickly. Mitchell may even re-sign with Montreal after the season since he was born in the area and was genuinely excited when he first heard about the trade.