Bertuzzi to MTL was almost completed subsequent to Theodore deal.
According to the “The Fourth Period” website, the Montreal Canadiens were supposedly very close to obtaining Todd Bertuzzi from the Vancouver Canucks. The deal would have been finalised right after the Theodore deal to Colorado.Amidst all the trade talk, some deals just don’t pan out.
While the Vancouver Canucks received offers for winger Todd Bertuzzi prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, none seemed better than a proposal from the Montreal Canadiens.
According to numerous reports, the Canucks and Canadiens were vigorously discussing a trade Wednesday night (the night before D-day) that would have sent Bertuzzi packing.
Speculation suggests that Bertuzzi would have been dealt to the Habs in a package deal involving winger Richard Zednik and an unidentified defenseman. The Canucks, however, were supposedly insistent on acquiring a high quality prospect.
One source, who spoke on the basis of anonymity, told TFP the Canadiens were hoping to simultaneously announce the Jose Theodore trade alongside a Bertuzzi acquisition.
While Canucks general manager Dave Nonis admitted to receiving offers for Bertuzzi, he would not confirm where those offers came from, nor who might have been involved.
The Habs, meanwhile, were also tight-lipped and Canadiens GM Bob Gainey would not confirm nor deny an interest in Bertuzzi.
“The deal for a player like that wasn’t there,” Gainey told the Montreal Gazette, referring to a top-line forward. “If you look at the players of that type who moved, there were deals involving young prospects and we didn’t have those players to give, or we were unable to make them available.”
Talks supposedly broke off that night, and ultimately a deal was never completed.
The two teams were rumored to have gone down a similar path earlier in the season. Various unconfirmed reports have claimed the Canucks and Habs were close to a deal that would have sent Bertuzzi and goalie Dan Cloutier to Montreal for Zednik and Theodore.
“They’ve had these discussions earlier in the year, but Cloutier’s (knee) injury nullified any possible move,” a source told TFP. “Maybe they’ll try to dance again this summer? Who knows? It’s certainly a possibility.”
** Young quality prospects wanted possibly included Perezoghin, Kostitsyn or Latendresse.