As the NHL’s trade deadline approaches, the Habs have been struggling to put the puck in the net and general consensus is that they could use a couple pieces up front. There aren’t many sellers out there and prices may be too high for Marc Bergevin’s taste, but here are some of the options he could target.
Patrick Eaves, Martin Hanzal, Brian Boyle and Patrick Berglund were targets, but the first three have since been dealt while Berglund re-signed with the Blues essentially taking him off the market.
Matt Duchene C and Gabriel Landeskog LW COL – If Bergevin truly wanted to swing for the fences, one of Colorado’s young stars would certainly fit the bill. Montreal has a hole at both left wing and centre in their top-six, which either one would immediately step into. Of course, a deal of this magnitude wouldn’t come cheap and would involve some serious assets going the other way. Odds are that if one or both of them are dealt, it will happen in the offseason, but either way this is a unique chance to acquire this level of talent.
Duchene: 55 GP, 16 G, 20 A, 36 Pts, -19 ($6.0 million cap-hit, UFA 2019)
Landeskog: 50 GP, 13 G, 13 A, 26 Pts, -15 ($5.57 million cap hit, UFA 2021)
Evander Kane LW BUF – He seems to have put it all together this season, breaking the 20 goal mark and contributing in Buffalo’s top-six. A goal scoring left winger with good size and just 25 he would be a dangerous addition to Montreal’s top-six. If his problems are truly behind him, he could be the answer for the second line left wing spot. Kane is under contract through the 2017-18 season with a cap-hit of $5.25 million.
49 GP, 21 G, 11 A, 32 Pts -11
Thomas Vanek RW DET – A return of Vanek may not sound all that appetizing to Habs fans, but there’s no denying he’s been having a good year in Detroit. He brings good size and consistent scoring to the wing, and may be a value option for a team. Likely a short-term solution as he is a UFA at season’s end (cap-hit $2.6 million).
47 GP, 15 G, 23 A, 38 Pts +1
Radim Vrbata RW ARI – A veteran scoring winger that is closing in on 1000 games played. Vrbata had a terrible season with Canucks last year, but has bounced back to put together a solid campaign for the Coyotes. At 35, he doesn’t have much hockey left, but his reasonable cap-hit make him attractive.
60 GP, 14 G, 30 A, 44 Pts -16 (cap hit: $1.0 million plus $1.25 million in playoff bonuses, UFA)
Patrick Sharp LW DAL – NHL teams love winners, and Sharp has done plenty of that over the years. His numbers are way down and he’s battled injuries this season, but Sharp’s playoff experience could be invaluable. The eight time 20 goal scorer would add some nice scoring depth to the wing.
36 GP, 7 G, 8 A, 15 Pts -16 (cap-hit: $5.9 million, UFA)
Drew Stafford RW WPG – Stafford has been dogged by inconsistency and injures his whole career, but has also proven that he can be an effective middle-six winger at times. If he gets hot, he would be a nice add for a team looking for scoring depth on the wing.
39 GP, 4 G, 8 A, 12 Pts -3 (cap-hit: $4.35 million, UFA)
Mathieu Perreault C WPG – The jury is out on how much Perreault would actually be able to help the Habs. With four more years on his contract, he would not be a rental – the question is whether he’s a solution at centre. At 29 he’s got plenty of hockey left, but has never been a consistent scorer in the league, while lacking the ideal size for the NHL.
46 GP, 6 G, 17 A, 23 Pts -13 (cap-hit: $4.125 million, UFA 2021)
Jannik Hansen RW VAN – While he’s never been the biggest scorer, Hansen has shown the ability to play throughout the top nine in Vancouver. His versatility has made him something of a jack of all trades for the Canucks, killing penalties and taking on tough matchups while contributing on the scoresheet. The Dane has one more year on his current contract.
28 GP, 6 G, 7 A, 13 Pts +2 (cap-hit: $2.5 million, UFA 2018)
Anthony Duclair ARI LW and Mikhail Grigorenko COL C – If the Habs were looking for a reclamation project, both Duclair and Grigorenko could be available. Both young, with tons of untapped potential, these players have failed to live up to expectations this season. At this point, Duclair has been relegated to AHL in the hopes he will find his game. Given their age and cap-friendly contract status, it would likely take a young asset of some value to pry them away.
Duclair: 41 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 Pts -8 (cap-hit: $1 million, RFA)
Grigorenko: 57 GP, 7 G, 12 A, 19 Pts -10 (cap-hit: $1.3 million, RFA)
Shane Doan RW ARI and Jarome Iginla RW COL – The elder-statesmen on this list at 40 and nearly 40 respectively, both Doan and Iginla are in the latter stages of great careers. Both have full no-movement clauses and would have to OK a move, but they may be willing to waive them for a chance at the cup. While the production has dried up, they bring a ton of leadership and experience that should not be undervalued.
Doan: 61 GP, 5 G, 15 A, 20 Pts, -5 (cap-hit: $3.875 million, UFA)
Iginla: 60 GP. 8 G, 10 A, 18 Pts, -19 (cap-hit: $5.333 million, UFA)