With the NHL Trade Deadline now less than 48 hours away, the pulse of the fan
base has shifted to thoughts of who Montreal could acquire to bolster their
squad in hopes of a lengthy playoff run. Is it time to go all in or should
Marc Bergevin be shopping through the bargain bin? The Habs can go a
variety of ways between now and Wednesday, our writers offer up some names that
we believe the team should look into.
Our writers were asked the following: If you could acquire one player for the playoff run out of the names
speculated to be available, who would it be and why?
Matt Dilworth: Although the NY Islanders’ recent winning streak
might have them exiting the “Sellers” category, I still think the acquisition of
Mark Streit would be a realistic and attainable goal. Streit would fill an
essential need on the blueline, as he can play tough minutes and possesses a
cannon that works great on the powerplay. Moreover, Streit has had success in
Montreal before, and he knows what it takes to play in such a hockey-mad city.
I always regretted the loss of Streit and would love to see him back in Habs’
Matt Gauthier: For the forward position, I’d
suggest a player like Raffi Torres. He has played with Plekanec and Ryder
before, in Hamilton, the year they lost in the Calder Cup Finals. He is a good
all-around player with a touch of grinding that you can never have enough of in
the playoffs. For the defence, I’d like to see Hal Gill back with the club, or
someone who could fill the role he had with the team in our playoff run. That
is, a shutdown defenseman you can send with confidence. You can’t overload
continually Markov and Subban, on who you already count to get your offence.
Brian La Rose: Up front, I’d like to see Montreal make a move
for Cody McLeod (Colorado). He would put an end to (or at least help) the
never-ending nonsense surrounding whether this team needs a tough guy or
two…or more if some had their way. McLeod isn’t a true heavyweight but
he has dropped the gloves with some over the years and is capable of playing a
regular shift and even some time on the penalty kill. The fact that he is
signed for two more years at a pretty good cap hit ($1.15 M) means that he can
be of use to the Habs for more than just a couple of months as well.
On the blueline, pickings are quickly becoming pretty slim with Jordan
Leopold (traded) and Ladislav Smid (signed an extension) now off the market.
Given that most of the defence corps is already signed for next season, a player
with an expiring contract is probably the best way to go. Although he’s an
underwhelming name, I think Tyson Strachan (Florida) would be a good fit for
what the team needs in terms of shoring up their grit…and finding someone
capable of playing reasonable minutes. If the plan is to get someone to
run the second powerplay unit, Ian White has fallen out of favour in Detroit and
could be a quality buy low candidate.
Alex Létourneau: A player that would make sense to me is Raffi Torres, who’s playing on a
struggling Phoenix team. The Coyotes are sitting on the outside looking in with
five teams ahead of them for eighth in the West. He has gone deep in the
playoffs with Edmonton and Vancouver, he can produce points and torment opposing
players and he’s got an expiring contract. He’d probably end up costing any team
interested a second rounder at this time of year but that could be worth it for
a guy who’s got sandpaper and the ability to contribute offensively.