Montreal Canadiens Trade Speculations

These are a few of my ideas as to whom, from the Canadiens, has a chance of being traded by draft day. I am not saying they are going to happen, but we won’t see any deals like this:
To Toronto: Jokinen
To Dallas: Kilger and 2nd Round Pick.
*cough*FarFromFreedom*cough*
As a Habs fan I know Kilger’s value so don’t say that THAT is a good trade for Dallas.
I believe that the Habs will be looking to move up in the draft, in order to secure their first pick for Angelo Esposito. Although Boston and Montreal are definitely not active together when it comes to trades, Boston has the eighth pick, just where Esposito is ranked according to TSN. With Tim Thomas being as old as he is, and after losing Raycroft to Toronto last year, look for Boston to be inpursuit of a goalie. I would hope it would be Huet, clearing up a little more cap room, but the French goalie is not much younger than Tim Thomas and is a little expensive. I can say that Halak, however, is the more realistic offer.

Look for something like this:
To Boston: Jaroslav Halak, Canadiens 1st Round Pick (12)
To Montreal: Bruins 1st Round Pick (8), Bruins 2nd/3rd Round Pick (38/69)

The Canadiens can choose to go after the Bruins 2nd or 3rd or pursue a player from the Bruins, but I don’t see many players from the Bruins that Boston would be willing to give up or even many players who would interest the Canadiens.

A minor deal that I could see going down would be for the Habs to trade newly acquired Left Winger Tony Salmelainen being shipped out. The Canadiens have already announced that they will be buying out the contract of Defenceman Jassen Cullimore, and I see no reason for them wanting to keep Salmelainen. They have announced that his future with the club is uncertain, but I’m looking to see him traded in order to free up a little more cap room, once the Habs have bought out Cullimore’s near 2 million dollar contract. With that said, the Habs might be looking to move Mathieu Dandenault. I know that would cause a weakness for the Habs on defense, but when have they ever let that get in the way?…… If you don’t get it I don’t know why you’re a Habs fan. This would finally give Josh Gorges the chance to show his stuff, as I feel he was not given a chance to showcase his talents in the mesely number of games he started in for Montreal. The Habs would be prefer a defenceman if they decided to move Dandenault, but no teams would be willing to give up a good defenceman for Dandenault and Salmelainen.

I would look for a trade like this:
To Vancouver: Tony Salmelainen, Mathieu Dandenault
To Montreal: Alexandre Burrows

I see Vancouver looking for a strong 5th or 6th defenceman, which is a role Dandenault can very easily fill. Salmelainen is to give Vancouver a 4th line Left Winger to fill Burrows’ spot. I think this deal would benefit Montreal, in giving them a hometown guy (Burrows is from Pointe-Claire, a suburb west of Downtown Montreal). Cap space may be an issue for Vancouver, as they only have 200K in cap room, but with Burrows and his 500K moving, and the possible departures of Trevor Linden (800K) and Brian Smolinski (1.976M) the Canucks would have ample room to absorb Tony Salmelainen’s (700K) and Mathieu Dandenault’s (1.725M) contracts.

I don’t see the Canadiens getting rid of any of their young players like Higgins, Latendresse, Lapierre, etc. But I do see the Habs trying to move Kovalev. It might not happen before draft day, but I finally expect Kovalev to leave Montreal. I would like to see Jovanovski come to Montreal from Phoenix, but his 6.5M dollar salary is ridiculous, and if Montreal hadn’t already made a trade with Chicago, I would have said Adrian Aucoin(4M). I don’t see Montreal getting any young, low earning defenceman in return for Kovalev, so I would look for a defenceman in his late 20′s to early 30′s earning between 2M to 4M. I’d look for Patrice Brisebois to make a ret…. just kidding…

Expect something like this:
To Columbus: Alex Kovalev, 2009 4th Round Pick
To Montreal: Duvie Westcott, Bryan Berard

Duvie Westcott (500K) was putting up some great offensive numbers with Columbus before getting injured last year. The 28 year old defenseman would probably be the more difficult defenceman for Columbus to lose, considering their defensive core is not really that strong. But a few young defenceman set to make the jump to the NHL (Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Marc Methot and Aaron Johnson) the Jackets might be willing to part ways with Westcott. Bryan Berard’s 2.25M dollar contract would be a nice draw for the Jackets. Sending him to Montreal would mean that Jackets would only have to take on an extra 1.75M on the cap by bringing in Alex Kovalev (4.5M). The 2009 4th Round Pick was thrown in as a sweetener. ***The reason why I would not give up the 2008 4th Rounder is because Montreal has already given up the 2008 5th round pick in the Craig Rivet deal.***

Now if Montreal were to give up any real talent, I could only see them getting rid of Michael Ryder. Montreal would first need to sign Ryder, the restricted free-agent before looking to trade him. I believe it is very likely that Montreal will sign Ryder to a contract in the area of 3 years and 3M dollars per year. Montreal would not part with Ryder without receiving a sweet deal in return, so I would expect another player in his late 20′s or early 30′s, in order for the Habs to make their 100th anniversary Stanley Cup run, as they have announced. This is by far my most far-fetched idea, and I’m opening myself up to criticism.

It is not likely, but for Ryder I’d expect something like this:
To Minnesota: Michael Ryder, 2007/2008 2nd Round Pick(2007 if Ryder is signed by Friday)
To Montreal: Pavol Demitra

Demitra, at 31, will earn 4.5M next year. Montreal would get an established player to come in and fill the void at Right Wing left by Kovalev and Ryder. Montreal would be able to bring up a rookie or and pursue a free agent forward to strengthen their offensive lineup.

If things go according to TSN’s mock draft, we can expet Montreal to pick up Esposito for sure, and Montreal could possibly use their 22nd overal Pick to draft Zach Hamill (69 GP, 32 G, 61 A, 93 Pts). Giving them 2 young centers, one of whom could possibly be seeing action this season.

Anyways those are my trade speculations, and remember, at least it wasn’t this bad:
To Toronto: Jokinen
To Dallas: Kilger and 2nd Round Pick.