The trade deadline is now less than a week away and it’s expected that GM
Marc Bergevin will still look to add another player or two to the mix after
making a move up front on Tuesday. While the Habs
do have some cap space, they may have to deal someone off the roster if they
intend to make a bigger splash. Who could be on the move? Our trade
odds continue with a look at Montreal’s goaltenders and defencemen.
Please note that all odds are independent of each other.
Dustin Tokarski: 20%: He has not looked sharp in a game for quite some
time and Mike Condon is nipping at his heels to make a run at the #2 job as
early as next season. It’s not crazy to think that one of the potential
upgrades the team will look at making is to add a more stable backup.
Also, as Tokarski still is young, there may be a rebuilding team or two that
wants to take a chance with him although I can’t see that happening. Right now, his value doesn’t appear like
it’s going to get any higher than it is now anytime soon and that’s not a good
Carey Price: 0.1%: After getting burned on saying there was a 0%
chance an injured Jose Theodore was going to get traded, I’m not handing out any
more 0% odds. This is the next best thing though as Price has been
Montreal’s MVP and one of the top goalies in the league once again this season.
With a good cap hit for the next three years, he’s not going anywhere.
Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi were
rated with the
Bulldogs last week.
Tom Gilbert: 20%: While he has been this year’s whipping boy, I don’t
think Gilbert has disappointed all that much relative to expectations. The
thought was they would use him as hopefully a passable fourth defenceman and for
the most part, he has been that. However, if the team is looking to add a
blueliner with a contract beyond this season, they’re going to likely have to
send a player back. Gilbert, with just one year left and a manageable cap
hit, seems like the obvious choice to go if this situation does arise.
Alexei Emelin: 10%: His recent shoulder injury certainly doesn’t help
his chances of being moved, nor does his full no-trade clause. With
Beaulieu and Tinordi both much more comfortable on their natural left side, many
have speculated that Emelin could be moved to free up a spot for the kids
long-term. Overall, I think there’s a decent chance Emelin gets dealt but
it’s probably more likely to happen in the offseason than now as it’s easier to
deal players with a few years and a sizeable cap hit in the summer.
Mike Weaver: 10%: It’s one thing to have veteran depth but if you
seldom use it – which has been the case with Weaver this year – is it really
worth keeping it around? Weaver’s a bit expensive for a seldom-used depth
defenceman and if the likes of Tinordi and Pateryn impress while they act as
injury replacements, it could take an awful lot of injuries to get Weaver to
play in a regular role. If that’s the case, the Habs might be wise to try
to flip him for a cheaper option to sit in the press box nine times out of ten.
Sergei Gonchar: 5%: I don’t think the Habs really want to move him and
I suspect Gonchar’s quite happy where he is, on a contending team receiving a
healthy chunk of ice time. However, given his cap hit and pending UFA
status, he’s one of only a handful of players that could be moved in any deal
where the Canadiens have to send salary back to take on an expensive player.
Nathan Beaulieu: 5%: A few weeks ago, this number would have been
higher but the fact that Beaulieu has taken another stride forward in his
progression recently is going to give Bergevin pause when considering dealing
him. He could still be part of a deal that lands a long-term core player
if the team swings a major move but otherwise, Beaulieu will still be around
past the deadline.
Andrei Markov: 0.1%: Last year, there was more of a chance of him
being dealt given the uncertainty surrounding his contract. That’s not the
case this season. Markov is still logging huge minutes and is comfortably
signed for two more years. It’s safe to say he’s staying put.
P.K. Subban: 0.1%: He’s the highest paid player in franchise history
and has seven years left on his deal. That alone would preclude a deal
from happening before even considering his strong on-ice contributions.
He’s not going anywhere either.
Last week, the Bulldogs got their own articles but what about the junior,
college, and international players? Here are a few names that could come
up in trade talks.
Josiah Didier (Denver, NCHC) – The rugged, stay-at-home blueliner is nearing
the end of his senior season and could conceivably turn pro in six weeks or
less. Montreal has a boatload of right shot defencemen in their system,
many of which will be in the AHL next season. It may be deemed that there
isn’t enough room for all of them which could make Didier expendable. His
value won’t be too high but he could move in a depth prospect for depth player
Zach Fucale (Quebec, QMJHL) – Fucale’s fourth year as a starter isn’t going
as well as many had hoped although there is still a Memorial Cup trip on the
horizon. With Price entrenched as the starter with Montreal for several
more years and the emergence of Condon as a viable prospect, this may not
be a bad time to test the waters to assess his value. The problem is that
goalies often don’t fetch much in trades but I expect Bergevin will be more
willing to consider dealing him than he was at this time one year ago.
Brett Lernout (Swift Current, WHL) – The Habs were expecting Lernout to take
a big step forward this year, evidenced by the fact he was drafted higher than
many expected and that they signed him as early as they did. Clearly, they
envision him as being a part of their future. With his size and physical
style, it’s likely that there will be selling teams inquiring about his
availability but my guess is that he’s ahead of some of the other right shot
blueliners on the depth chart which will have Bergevin pushing other options