Selanne To Montreal: Probable

According to TSN, Scott Niedermayer is now leaning towards returning to Anaheim. He has not made his official decision yet, but he has stated that he wants to do the right thing and will consult his family for their opinions. His brother, Rob, told TSN that he would obviously love to have Scott return.

Now if Niedermayer does return, it will put Selanne in an awkward place. The Ducks don’t have the cap room to sign both and given the choice they will obviously go with their captain. Therefore Selanne, a UFA, will be forced to sign elsewhere (Montreal) as that is his primary alternative to Anaheim and most international hockey fans know of the magic that appears on the ice when Koivu and Selanne play together.
Variables:
1) If the Ducks dump some contracts in order to sign Selanne, which I don’t see happening because they need all of their starters right now. I mean, who would they dump?
2) If Selanne is asking for too much money. The Habs can only afford to give Selanne a 3M deal at the most because they have to resign some key RFAs next season like Andrei Kostitsyn and Maxim Lapierre.
Now if Selanne does decide to come to Montreal, it will likely trigger a trade. Why you ask? Let me show you what our lines would look like:
Ryder-Koivu-Selanne
Higgins-Plekanec-Kostitsyn
Lahti/Streit-Smolinski-Latendresse/Kovalev
Begin-Lapierre-Kostopoulos
Markov-Komisarek
Hamrlik-Streit/Bouillon
Dandenault-Brisebois/Gorges/Bouillon/O’Byrne
I’m sure no one will disagree with me when I say that Kovalev is a waste of talent on the third line. What would likely happen is a trade involving Ryder, a UFA next season who will likely decide to leave Montreal given his arbitration disputes, and Kovalev, a under-achieving player whose career will likely be over unless he manages to regain his previous form. Now this is just me, but I think that Kovalev, Ryder, and lets say Dandenault (‘Cause he’s always in trade rumors as the throw-in guy) could easily snatch a top-tier left wing to play with Koivu. However, if Bob wants to really take home the bacon, he could let Ryder go into free agency next year. Package Kovalev and Dandy for some picks and prospects. And then throw everything we have at Dany Heatley.
Personally, I’d go with a trade for someone like Patrik Elias or Rick Nash as Montreal doesn’t have the greatest reputation for attracting free agents. Although one could argue that the acquisition of Selanne would up our rep. Now I know this might seem very unlikely to some of you and I am making this stuff up for arguments sake, but I haven’t seen a Habs article for a while so I think this is a good topic as it is very probable. Cheers.


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