HabsWorld.net -- 

For the first time in many years, the Habs have made a huge splash at the
trade deadline, arguably the second biggest of the day.  They have acquired
winger Thomas Vanek and a conditional 2014 5th rounder from the New York
Islanders in exchange for prospect Sebastian Collberg and a conditional 2nd
round pick in 2014.  The picks will only be exchanged if Montreal makes the

Goal scoring has been a problem for the Canadiens this season and that is an
area that Vanek certainly will help.  His 21 goals so far this season ranks
second on the team (behind Max Pacioretty) while his 53 points ranks first by a
considerable margin; Pacioretty and P.K. Subban are next at 42.  Of his 21
goals, 15 have come at even strength, an area that Montreal ranks 22nd in the
league this season. 

In 645 career games, the 6’0, 217 lb winger has 271 goals and 270 assists to
go along with a +33 rating and 396 PIMS.  He also has suited up in 36
playoff games (though none since 2011).  Vanek has 15 goals but just 5
assists in those games with a -5 rating.  Although he is a natural right
winger, he can also play on the left side, giving coach Michel Therrien some
coveted flexibility in his line combinations.

Collberg was Montreal’s 2nd round pick, 33rd overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry
Draft.  Since then, he has played for Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League
but has struggled to find consistent ice time.  He has 3 goals and 6
assists with Frolunda in 40 games this year.  However, he has been much
more dominant playing at the junior level internationally where he has averaged
a point per game in three World Junior tournaments.  His contract in Sweden
expires after this season where he is expected to make a more permanent
transition to North America.

Vanek carries a cap hit of just over $7 million and is in the final year of a
7 year, $50 million deal he signed in 2007-08 (with Edmonton on an offer sheet
was matched).  However, when he was
dealt to the Islanders (in exchange for Matt Moulson, a conditional 1st, and a
2nd rounder), Buffalo retained a portion of his salary (roughly 20%), meaning that
his cap hit with the Canadiens is $5.75 million.  Although Collberg is
under contract, his deal was a slide rule one (it doesn’t count against the
limit of 50 unless he plays 9 NHL games) which means that the Habs are up to 49
out of 50 contracts which is meaningful if they intend to pursue any college
free agents.

With Vanek on the roster, Montreal now projects to finish the year just
$134,000 under the cap (though that number may go up a bit when Dustin Tokarski
– who is set to make his first start of the year tonight – gets sent back to
Hamilton).  Nonetheless, the Habs appear likely to finish the year in the
bonus cushion, meaning that they are going to face a cap penalty for next year,
depending on how many bonuses get hit by players on entry-level contracts.

As Marc Bergevin is away from the team for family reasons, he will not be
commenting on this trade (or the Weaver/Dubnyk pickups) until Thursday.

Vanek’s Stats


Collberg’s Stats