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- January hasn't been a kind month for Lars Eller. He has just 12 points in 44 games, his lowest PPG average of any month.
Friday saw a number of Canadiens fans completely in shock at the value the team received for potential UFA veteran defenceman Hal Gill. Most considered Gill to be worth about a 2nd round draft pick. However, GM Pierre Gauthier was able to get that same 2nd round pick as well as two prospects including Boom Boom Jr. Jr. in Blake Geoffrion.
Habs fans should not be surprised. One glance at the market shows just how important becoming a seller at this trade deadline is. The number of sellers is few and far between while the number of buyers is starting to increase. What does this mean for the Montreal Canadiens? It means that they have an opportunity to make something out of what has been a nothing season.
With such a small market teams are going to have to pay some serious prices for players. Everyone's value is inflated and therefore many of the Canadiens players who would have ordinarily gone for a pittance will now garner some serious market interest from many different teams. How much could this increase their value? Here is a look at what you can expect some of the currently shopped Canadiens to earn if they do end up getting traded by the club.
Initial trade value: In an ordinary market a defender of Campoli's calibre would earn about a 5th or 6th round pick with a possible condition low round draft pick added on to that.
Current trade value: The current market inflates Campoli's value quite a bit. A 2nd round pick would not be out of the question. If not a 3rd or 4th round pick with possibly a prospect on top of that. Most observers would say that Campoli isn't worth that much but with the lack of defensive depth in the market teams will have to overpay.
Initial trade value: In an ordinary trade deadline market Andrei probably brings in a trade similar to that of Gill. In fact for a long time almost that exact deal (Geoffrion and the 2nd) was rumoured to be in the works for Kostitsyn. It came as a big surprise to quite a few people that it was Gill and not him that got dealt to Nashville, although there is still time for it to happen.
Current trade value: It may come as a shock but I think Andrei Kostitsyn in the current market is worth a 1st round pick, possible a low level prospect on top of that. If not that I would not be surprised with a 2nd rounder and a roster player. The market for forwards has become far more competitive since Tuomo Ruutu got injured. Behind Rick Nash and possibly Jeff Carter (I say possibly because we aren't yet sure if he is moving) Kostitsyn is probably the number 3 forward on the market right now.
Initial Trade Value: A lot of people expected him to be traded as part of a package, which could still happen. What would Weber receive if traded alone? Probably about a 5th or a 6th round pick, or a prospect. Similar to the value of Chris Campoli.
Current Trade Value: I honestly think that Weber gets a better value than Campoli because of potential in today's market. At absolute maximum value (don't expect this to happen) Weber gets a 2nd round pick and possibly a prospect on top of that but a 3rd or a 4th and a prospect is not out of the question as well. Weber is a good young addition for any playoff team who needs defensive depth and can contribute on the powerplay and offensively.
*If his injury isn't long-term.
Initial Value: Even in a normal market there is a lot of value for a player like Travis Moen. This is a player who will certainly be an asset to teams in the playoffs and a player who has been their before. I think ordinarily Moen is worth about a 2nd round pick.
Current Value: I think if Montreal can shop him correctly he can be turned into a 1st round pick, mind you a first round pick that will not be in the top 20. Ideally he would be traded for something similar to Hal Gill, getting the Habs a second round pick and a couple of prospects.
The Canadiens aren't going to make the playoffs, I think it is a fact that we all must face as the NHL season winds down. So to miss this opportunity to get some legitimate long-term assets in a market that is currently almost dry for talent yet has a number of teams willing to buy would be a terrible mistake. Montreal can make up some big ground here and put in some ground work for a rebuild this off-season. The shake-up won't be major, but it certainly needs to happen.