Well, there are three possible scenarios that have been laid out for the habs. Of course some minor players in the deals might switch, but the key players remain the same.
1) The basic trade is with San Jose that I’m sure many of you have heard about. The possible variations are:
a) Ryder, Halak, Dandenault, 2nd round pick ———> Marleau, 3rd round pick
b) Plekanec, Ryder, Halak, Dandenault, 3rd round pick ———> Marleau, Bernier, 2nd round pick
c) Higgins, Halak ———> Marleau
d) Plekanec, Halak, Dandenault, Locke, 2nd round pick ——–> Marleau, Bernier
The reasons for this are quite simply, that after the departure of Toskala, the Sharks need a capable back-up in case Nabokov goes down during the season (Halak). They obviously need some good value in return for Marleau whether that be Higgins, Ryder, or Plekanec is up to Bob. And Dandenault is just a throw-in. We drop some salary, they get a veteran 6/7 D-man. The problem is of course that Marleau is unrestricted next year. The ideal situation would be if Bob could arrange a contract extension before the trade, or if San Jose threw in some conditional draft picks or prospects in case Marleau packs his bags.
2) The second trade possibility is with the Kings. There aren’t any variations just the basic trade of:
Ryder ——> Cammalleri
There aren’t really that many reasons for this, other than that Montreal would be a good place for Cammalleri to continue his development and the Kings could use Ryder’s consistent goal scoring to make a push for the playoffs.
3) Now the third trade possibility is an interesting one. It is with the Stars. I have also heard rumors of a sequence of trade for Montreal that would look something like 1d and then the following:
Ryder ———> Boucher
The reasons for this are that we really don’t need Ryder anymore, especially if we have Marleau. He may be a consistent 30-goal scorer, and he may show up when it counts, but he can’t skate and he can’t pass. Ryder would be great on a line with Ryder and Ryder. He’s a one-man show. Dallas could use a nice goal-scorer like him to go with Nagy and may be willing to trade one of their more expensive D-men. This would also help fill Souray’s void on the PP.
In an ideal world, Bob would complete trade #1d and then trade #3. Because quite honestly, we need wingers more than we need centres. We have to many quality centres, especially if we get Marleau. And on defense, Boucher would be possibly better than Souray.
It’s salary time!
Available cap room: 10.845M
With the departure of Plekanec (1.6M), Dandenault (1.725M), Halak (0.5M)
And the arrival of Marleau (4.167M) and Bernier (1.183M)
Left over cap room: 9.32M
With the arrival of Boucher (2.5M)
Left over cap room: 6.82M
With 6.82M we have enough money to resign Marleau to a 7M+ contract as well as have money left over to resign Streit, Koivu, and Kovalev in a couple of years if Bob sees fit.
Our lines would look something like this:
Higgins – Marleau – Kovalev
Latendresse – Koivu – Kostitsyn
Grabovski – Smolinski – Bernier
Begin – Lapierre – Kostopoulos
Markov – Boucher
Hamrlik – Komisarek
Streit – Bouillon/O’Byrne
Now that is what I call a balanced and scary team! But your opinion carries as much value with me. Please tell me what trades you would or wouldn’t do, include any new rumors you have heard, or include your ideal lines for the start of the season. Cheers!