Habs may be sellers at trade deadline

The Canadiens were prepared for more personnel changes following the decision to trade left winger Michael Cammalleri to Calgary for Rene Bourque.

“At a certain point, you can’t keep firing coaches,” veteran Mathieu Darche said, referring to the firing of head coach Jacques Martin and assistant coach Perry Pearn earlier this season. “It goes down to players. We felt things might happen if we didn’t get better. We have a new player and we move on.”

Bourque’s offensive numbers are similar to Cammalleri’s over the past two seasons but he offers two advantages. He’s five inches taller and 15 pounds heavier, and his cap hit of $3.3 million is less than Cammalleri’s $6 million.

The arrival of Bourque signals a recognition that the Canadiens are too small and too timid up front, but long-term contracts for players such as Scott Gomez, Brian Guinta and Tomas Plekanec mean there may not be any quick fixes available. But the Canadiens’ current plight — they have dropped to 12th place in the Eastern Conference and are eight points out of the eighth and final playoff spot after losing to Ottawa in a 3-2 shootout Saturday — would indicate they will be sellers leading up to next month’s trade deadline.

The Canadiens, who next are home against the Rangers on Sunday, have several disposable players who could help a team needing an extra piece to reach or maintain a playoff position.