We turn our focus to the Habs now in our Trade Odds series. While the goaltending is pretty well settled, there could still be a shake up on the back end by March 1st.
Please note that all odds are independent of each other.
Al Montoya: 5% – Although he hasn’t played a whole lot lately, Montoya is still part of Montreal’s plans after they handed him a two year extension last month. He also is their goalie to expose in the expansion draft in June as well (so that Price can be protected). Before even considering his play this season – which has been pretty good most nights – those two factors are enough of a reason to call it a near sure bet that he’ll be sticking around.
Carey Price: 1%: – Since I can’t put zero (after getting burned on Jose Theodore years ago), I’ll go with the next lowest. Everyone knows how important Price is to the team and they’re not upgrading the position by sending him elsewhere either. He’s not going anywhere.
Greg Pateryn: 40% – He hasn’t had the greatest of chances to play consistently and at some point you wonder if it’s best to just let him get that opportunity somewhere else. The addition of Nikita Nesterov has pushed Pateryn into more of a platoon role and depending on how you interpret his comments following Michel Therrien’s firing, he’s not particularly happy when he’s in that situation.
Nathan Beaulieu: 25% – GM Marc Bergevin has a big decision to make here. If they still see Beaulieu as a top four player in the near future, then he should hold on to him. If they’re not as sure of that though, this may be the time to move him before he hits restricted free agency in the summer as they’d likely be looking at a long-term deal coming off the bridge contract. Probably the only way they’d consider doing this now would be if they have a move in place to bring in a left shot blueliner signed beyond this season.
Nikita Nesterov: 10% – The fact that the Habs got him for as little as they did (a 6th round pick and a minor depth filler) would suggest there really isn’t much interest in him league-wide. If new head coach Claude Julien indicates that he’d rather work with Pateryn moving forward though, maybe they flip him and recoup what they gave up but I wouldn’t call it a likely scenario. More likely is that he’ll be a depth option down the stretch.
Alexei Emelin: 10% – It’s quickly becoming evident that the experiment with him on the top pairing needs to end. Conceivably, if Bergevin finds a trade for someone with term to fill that spot, Emelin’s a candidate to move to offset money beyond this season. There’s also a small chance he moves so they don’t run the risk of leaving him unprotected in expansion. I don’t think either scenario is particularly likely though, at least at this point in the year.
Jeff Petry: 5% – After a strong start to the season, Petry has cooled off considerably and isn’t playing up to the level of his contract. However, given that he has four years left after this one and that deals involving big ticket players rarely happen at this time of year, it’s safe to suggest he’ll be sticking around on the second pairing for the stretch run.
Andrei Markov: 3% – If anything, I think he’s heading towards more playing time which would make it hard for the Habs to turn around and trade him now. The Habs aren’t in a situation where they’re going to sell and while it remains to be seen if there’s mutual interest in him returning next year (I suspect there is but they may wait until after the expansion draft), they’re not going to approach the situation thinking it’s better to get something for Markov now over possibly losing him for nothing in July.
Shea Weber: 1% – While the popular sentiment is to assign a lot of blame to Weber for Montreal’s recent struggles, management undoubtedly isn’t seeing it that way. Even if they were, he has nine years left on his contract. Both of those add up to it being a no-brainer that he will still be around beyond the beginning of March.
Goalies: Low – Montreal is pretty well set with Price and Montoya. While it’s possible they could look to add a veteran third goalie, I think they’re comfortable with having to play Charlie Lindgren if they had to and with Yann Danis already in the fold on a minor league deal, I can’t see them looking to add another older player to the fold.
Defence: High – The Habs could stand to improve a couple of areas here. They need a better fit for Shea Weber on the top pairing and they could also stand to add some depth, particularly on the left hand side as they don’t have anyone in the minors who is capable of even playing a passable role if injuries strike. It would be likely that they’d look at the rental avenue to fill both of those holes.