HabsWorld.net -- 

Although the season has been a struggle for most players, there are a few
Habs who are having strong years.  One of those is Travis Moen who has had
a knack for scoring some timely goals and has a pretty good chance of notching a
career high in goals.  He also is set to become an unrestricted free agent
in July and with his playoff experience and gritty style, he should have no
shortage of trade suitors.

Moen brings some qualities to the table that the Habs would like to hold onto
as well.  He’s a top penalty killer, can log big minutes, and is one of the
few capable of playing a more physical style.  He turns 30 this April so he
should have several years left in the tank.  So the first question becomes,
should the Habs be looking to extend Moen by the deadline or deal him?

bbp: "I actually am not opposed to signing Moen if he doesn’t demand
too much of a higher contract based off this years performance, I would go for a
two year deal personally, adding a third year if he signed cheaper wouldn’t be a
problem. Montreal hasn’t shown commitment to their bottom 6 guys in a long

Commandant: "I like what Travis Moen brings, but there are many
similar players available July 1st, guys like Prust, Gaustad, Kostopoulos, Asham,
and you could even re-sign Moen himself."

Machine of Loving Grace: "These are teams that desperately need a guy
like Moen and if Gauthier doesn’t make them pay for it, he’ll just be exercising
his uselessness."

Although bottom six forwards are typically the most dealt pieces at each
trade deadline, most fans agree that Moen is at least a small step above the
others that will be made available.  That should enable the Habs to command
a better than normal return…but is there a point in the asking price where
most GM’s should walk away given where Moen would likely slide in on a
contending team?  With that in mind, what could he be worth?

Willey101: "My feel is that a second rounder is likely what we can get
for him but recently Gauthier seems to be more inclined to trade for players who
can have a quicker impact than a draft choice. So although we can likely get a
second I can see Gauthier trying to acquire a mid-level prospect in return."

Zowpeb: "The problem is the inflated expectations of Moen’s value.
I’ll be the first to slag PG (Pierre Gauthier) for his performance as a
GM but I wouldn’t slag him for getting a 4th round pick on Moen since that’s
probably what his value is…a 3rd rounder would be an above average return…"

Turd Burglar: "…He’ll probably be one of the top players, if not the
top player at his role on the market. I don’t think a 2nd round pick is much of
a stretch for him. If we don’t get a pick, we should at least get a center
prospect with some size."

At this point, I’d have to say I’m in favour of dealing him but without
closing the door on a possible offseason return.  Bottom six forwards are
in high supply at trade deadline time and they’re almost always in higher supply
in early July.  Moen has a few things going for him that should separate
him a bit from the pack in his experience, penalty kill abilities, and the fact
he’s having a half decent season offensively.  If the Habs are indeed
sellers, this is the type of sell-high player that the team should be trying to
capitalize on. 

As to what he could fetch in a deal, I’m not as confident as most about the
potential of getting a second round pick.  I think there is a limit as to
how high of a pick a team is willing to give up for a bottom six forward. 
In this case, I think that pick is a third rounder.  Yes, teams have given
up a second for one before (such as Dominic Moore) but I think there will be
more cautioned exercised.  That said, I don’t think the potential return
would be capped at a third.  A few teams should be willing to give that up
so there should be a secondary element in play, be it a lower pick or a
prospect.  That’s not an ‘exciting’ deal, but a solid one that could help
replenish the system that has been dwindling in size the last couple of years. 
Couple that with what I think would be a decent chance at bringing him back in
the offseason and it’s a win-win-win situation.  The Habs get something for
his rights, the acquiring team picks up a useful player, and Moen gets a shot at
a good playoff run with the potential to come back (or pick a new team) next