Updated February 27th.
There’s no denying that the Habs need help up front. Will they be able to accomplish that at the trade deadline or just deal away their remaining rentals? Our trade odds conclude with a look at Montreal’s forwards.
Please note that all odds are independent of each other.
Dale Weise: 90% – Of the rental players the Habs have, he’s the one that should bring the most back in a trade. Knowing that, it’s tempting to put him closer to the 100% mark but given how effective Weise has been with the Canadiens and his reported desire to stay, there’s a chance a late extension could get hammered out if Marc Bergevin wants to guarantee he’s around next year.
(Traded to Chicago)
Tomas Fleischmann: 75% – Yes, he has really struggled after a great start to the season but he’s a veteran and more importantly, he’s cheap. Even teams that are right up against the cap should be able to afford him. Fleischmann is the type of acquisition that works for teams that want some veteran depth without having to give up a whole lot. They won’t get much but there’s a market out there for him.
(Traded to Chicago)
Devante Smith-Pelly: 40% – Although he’s not a pending UFA, Smith-Pelly is still somewhat of a rental as he’ll be a restricted free agent after the year and right now, there’s no guarantee he gets a qualifying offer. It doesn’t look as if he’ll be part of the future for the Canadiens moving forward so Bergevin may be best suited to take what he can get and give someone else a shot. It’ll be a minimal market though.
Lars Eller: 30% – Because his contract jumps in terms of salary next season, there is a bit of motivation to move Eller now before his value takes a hit in the offseason. He’s a young(ish) centre with size and that should have a couple of teams showing a bit of interest. I can’t see Eller going for a pick (straight up) or an expiring contract as some have speculated though, not with the worries about the cap moving forward.
Sven Andrighetto: 25% – I profiled his situation earlier this month and not much has changed since then. Some nights he looks like a key piece down the road while in others, he looks like merely a filler player. If management and the coaches think he’s part of the future, this number will be too high. If they’re still not sold on him though, this is the time to deal him even though trading a youngster while selling isn’t exactly common.
Torrey Mitchell: 20% – Last year, he was brought in as a fourth line centre upgrade with experience. Other teams out there will view him the same way this season and while Mitchell has two years left on his contract, it’s not pricey enough to the point that teams will be scared away. This could be a chance to free up a bit of money for the offseason while potentially opening a spot up for someone like Jacob de la Rose or newly acquired Phillip Danault on a full-time basis for 2016-17.
Previous odds before the Weise trade: 15%
Tomas Plekanec: 15% – There are teams that will have interest – if they can send money back the other way (or have Montreal retain which wouldn’t be ideal). Plekanec can help any contending team but his new contract is going to wind up working against Bergevin if he does want to move him. For what it’s worth, I don’t think he does want to trade him. Add in his partial NTC and I see him sticking around.
Alex Galchenyuk: 10% – I get the sense that the organization is not quite as bullish on Galchenyuk’s potential as they were at this time a year or two ago. Is he a 55-60 point guy down the road or does he have that extra level in him? If management thinks it’s the latter, they’ll keep him but if they think the former, he could be moved. I’d be more inclined to think it would be an offseason deal but if the right young player is offered up, it could be done now.
David Desharnais: 5% – His injury more or less killed any trade value he may have had. The only reason I put him here and not even lower is if management decides to do a swap of bad contracts or opts to retain salary in which case Desharnais’ foot problem may not scare the other team away entirely.
Brian Flynn: 5% – If he was healthy, he’d be really close to the top of the list but he’s out until late March. If there’s a team out there that likes Flynn as someone that could help them next season though, there’s a slight chance that they pick him up now but the Habs would practically have to give him away for that to happen.
Daniel Carr: 5% – He made quite the impression before having a knee injury cost him the rest of his regular season. Did he do enough to make a team trade for him knowing they won’t have him back until the middle of the playoffs? I have my doubts but stranger things have happened. Assuming he’s still around (and I think he will be), he should battle for a spot next training camp.
Paul Byron: 3% – I can’t see the Habs dealing a guy they just signed to a three year extension. They envision him as a fourth line penalty kill specialist moving forward and at 26 with his new deal, Byron is a part of the plans moving forward.
Max Pacioretty: 2% – He’s not having the best of seasons compared to the standards he set recently but he’s still Montreal’s most dangerous goal scorer. When the team is struggling to score, moving a scorer doesn’t make a lot of sense. He also has a good contract and of course is the captain. Pacioretty is having a down year but it will take a lot more than that for the team to have any inclinations towards trading him.
Phillip Danault: 2% – In the press release announcing the Weise trade, Bergevin noted that they view Danault as a core player for the future. They’re not turning around and trading him after no more than one game.
Brendan Gallagher: 1% – He’s the heart and soul of Montreal’s forwards. He’s young, still improving, and on a team-friendly deal for another half of a decade. Yeah, he’s not going anywhere…
For starters, they need top six help. They’re not getting that by selling off the rentals though. Their biggest need that can realistically be filled between now and next week is simply evaluation. They need to learn about the readiness of some of their prospects and moving players like Weise and Fleischmann will open spots up either for those prospects or if there’s a player in a similar situation as Andrighetto that they want to take a closer look at (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they added someone like that). There are certainly bigger needs than this but those will have to wait until the summer to be dealt with.