Do we really need to make the big deal now??
The Montréal Canadiens are considered as one of the top prospect loaded team in the league, to make a big deal we’ll have to part with some of them…I’ve said several times that I don’t want my Habs to mortgage our future this year to get an impact player. It wouldn’t make sense because were not going to get anywhere near the cup anyways (who knows what can happen in the playoffs, but our chances are slim).
The only reason I see Gainey acquire a big name would be to try and get near the 3rd round and help the team get even financially this year. (note: President Pierre Boivin recently said that in order to not lose any money this year, the Habs had to get ”deep into the 3rd round”)
Let’s say he has the mandate to do so, what would we need?
Answer: A big talented young power forward
Knowing that, who’s available outthere?
* Jeff O’neill-CAR (28yo)
* Ryan Smyth-EDM (28yo)
* Keith Tkachuk-STL (32yo)
Now let’s analyze the three options:
* Jeff O’neill-CAR
Jeff O’neill is a very talented player that is having a difficult year. I strongly believe that wherever he might end up, he will bounce back. Unfortunately, I’ve never been a big fan of him and I don’t particularly like his attitude. Perhaps this could change if he was heading here but I’m not sure about that at all.
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?
Last saturday Jim Rutherford has been seen in Bob Gainey’s office and he apparently stayed there for about an hour. Wanna bet they talked about a possible trade? ”Everything went very well” said Rutherford when asked about his meeting with Gainey. He also stated that he didn’t HAD to trade a guy like Jeff O’neill and if he do so, it would take at least a ”first year player” to land him.
Hmmmm. Interesting… What do we have in term of first year player in our team? Michael Ryder: Calder candidate, Gainey can’t trade the leading scorer of all the NHL rookies as it just wouldn’t make sense. Mike Komisarek: great young defensemen that is wanted by almost every team in the league. When drafted, several GM’s all agreed that he was a ”Scott Stevens with an offensive upside” defensemen. If we try to get O’neill, expect Rutherford to make a big push for Komisarek…
You won’t land one of the most coveted player in the league with just Mike Komisarek! The Hurricanes are not in salary dumping mode and can ask for a big return to any team inquiring about O’neill. You can bet there are at least 5 to 8 teams interested in him right about now. So, what else would we have to give up? A forward, again maybe a youngster. I doubt that a guy like Yanic Perreault would interest much the Canes, so we’d have to tempt Rutherford with Marcel Hossa. He’s big and could become a very good power forward one day. Normally, this deal should be just enough to get O’neill but nothing is normal these days and Gainey would probably be in a bidding war with one or two other teams so he’d likely have to add a substancial draft pick into the mix, possibly a 3rd or 4th.
* Ryan Smyth-EDM
Now, off the three players he is the one I want the most. He brings in grit, leadership, talent & heart. He’d become a fan favorite in a flash here in Montréal…
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?
Kevin Lowe has stated numerous of times that he was a big fan of Mike Komisarek. On draft day in 2001, he apparently made a strong push to obtain the 1st rounder of the Habs (7th overall) in order to draft Komisarek. It didn’t work out and Edmonton ended picking Ales Hemsky at #13, not bad at all if you ask me. Now contrary to the Hurricanes, Edmonton can’t afford to keep high-priced player so other teams knows that they’d like to ship Smyth’s salary elsewhere. Again, only Komisarek wouldn’t cut it and Montréal would have to add a little something more in order to land him. Again, the names of Marcel Hossa & Ron Hainsey pops up immediately. One of both plus a low draft pick should be enough to seal the deal but since the organization don’t seem to have much faith in those two players, I say why not include em both and ask a little something more from Lowe?? Forget about Jason Smith as he much rather send him elsewhere in a different deal to help him get a maximum of return for the two Smith’s. No, the player I would be targeting is youngster defensemen Marc-André Bergeron. He is small, very true, but plays big! He plays with so much heart and isn’t affraid to land big hits. He reminds me alot of Francis Bouillon with better offensive talent. He always been a Power Play specialist (Broke the record for the most goals in a season by a defensemen in juniors with 42) and is francophone. cough-cough he also happens to be a friend of mine cough-cough. He has 5 goals and 11 assists in 37 games so far this season.
* Keith Tkachuk-STL
Great player, respected all-around the league. He has lots of talent but to grab him would be to make an incredible favor to the Blues by picking up his enormous contract. Unless St. Louis pick up a part of his salary, I don’t want him near Montreal. I don’t see him fitting well with the Habs either and I don’t think he would bring anything positive to our dressing room.
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?
Mike Komisarek! Again only him wouldn’t be enough. The Blues are in dire need of defensive help so they’d ask about Craig Rivet who could help them right away. You know what? I’d also throw in Karl Dykhuis in the deal just to get rid of him!! So larry Pleau would have the chance to get a quick defensive fix (Rivet) and probably the next Chris Pronger (Komisarek) for an expensive, aging (but still very capable) power forward. In my opinion, Pleau would bite to this deal, and bite hard! Does I want this deal to happen though? Hell no!
So, to sum this up, this is what I think we’d have to part with in order to get the power forward we desperatly need:
To Carolina: Mike Komisarek, Marcel Hossa, 3rd or 4th Rounder.
To Montréal: Jeff O’neill.
To Edmonton: Mike Komisarek, Ron Hainsey, Marcel Hossa.
To Montréal: Ryan Smyth, Marc-André Bergeron.
To St. Louis: Mike Komisarek, Craig Rivet, Karl Dykhuis (please, just trade him somewhere!).
To Montréal: Keith Tkachuk.
Notice the pattern here? If we want to land a big name, we’ll have to give up Mike Komisarek. That’s the way it is…
If any of those deals were to happen, the one I’d want the most would be with the Oilers. Nothing against O’neill and Tkachuk, but in my book Ryan Smyth has an edge over the two. Not necesseraly just on the ice, but also off the ice.
Do I want any of these deals to happen?? Now this is another question! I don’t know, As much as I’d want to finally adress the power forward need in Montréal, I am not quite ready to give up Mike Komisarek to do so. I mean this could be the next Chris Pronger we are talking about, guys! Do we really want to let him go elsewhere?? It is true that the rising of Sheldon Souray has changed the face of our defensive core and that Komisarek COULD be seen as expendable, but again this could be a great mistake to trade him away. You also have to take into consideration that we are not considered as ”contenders” for the cup so Bob Gainey can lower the asking price of other GM’s by telling them that he isn’t desperate to land the player as we don’t really need him in a hurry, contrary to say the Leafs who will overpay for the next big name d-men they acquire. So it would basically be the biggest advantage of pulling the trigger this year instead of waiting to be contenders and overpay too.
We also have to keep in mind that sooner or later, we’ll have to get ourselves a power forward in order to be competitive in the playoffs.
The big question is, however: Do we have to do it now???