Habs trade rumors

Recent postings on the fourth period suggest that the Habs are trying to obtain Sami Kapanen from Carolina and are trying to deal Jeff Hackett to the Bruins. The Habs have demonstrated over the past year and a half that they do not know how to improve their team through trades.

Montreal management has made several errors since the beginning of the 2001-02 season. None of their recent trades or signings have worked out. Further, they have priced their moveable talent out of the market. Of the trade and waiver acquisitions: Audette, Van Allen, Berezin, Lindsay, McKay, Czerkawski and Blouin, only McKay has a regular shift with the Habs and it took half the season to put him on the second line. The rest are either gone, in the minors or in the press box.

Montreal has been rumored at various times to have shopped much of their team including Czerkawski, Audette, Kilger, Hackett, Bulis, Petrov, Rivet, Traverse and Dykhuis. In almost every case Montreal asked for too much and the deal fell through. Through benchings and demotions they have reduced the value of their trade assets to the point where players like Audette and Czerkawski have negative trade value. They are worth less than zero in a trade.

The obvious stupidity of this season is that the Habs came into it needing to replace two injured players – Gino Odjick and Sheldon Souray – who represented the lone muscle on a puny team. Other than a mid season pick up of Blouin who doesn’t scare anyone, and doesn’t get to play often, they have failed to address their weaknesses. Instead, management has spent the season screwing around underbidding for quality players. They even took a step backward in trading away Asham, their only young physical forward, for a scorer they stuck in the minors.

For eighteen months, the Habs gathered random bodies and threw them together in hopes of creating a team. That effort has failed to improve the team, wasted $10 million in salary, slowed the development of key rookies and made Montreal an even more undesirable place for free agents. Trading for Kapinen when the team has too many small scorers and dumping their more consistent goalie signals a continuation in stupidity on Montreal’s part. It is time to address the needs of the team, not play trade of the day.