Vancouver and Montreal are up to something… No really good leaks yet as to the exact players, but something is in the works.
Yesterday was a very busy day for the two. Steve Tambellini of the Canucks and Bob Gainey of the Canadiens met at the Manitoba Moose-Hamilton Bulldogs game (the clubs respective farm teams) and at the Canucks-Flames games there were a total of 8 (count them… 8!) Montreal scouts in attendance. Both these have been confirmed (radio for source… sorry, no link).That leaves on to speculate what could be in the works. The obvious assumption is that Theodore is on the move… he has struggled of late, sat out against the Senators and has had his name come up many many times. Also, he is just what the doctor ordered for the Canucks who have been running their backup goalie ragged.
The biggest mistake people make is always expecting it to be a huge trade, however based on the facts I believe Theodore will be the biggest name involved.
The facts are these:
1. Tambellini and Gainey met at the AHL affiliate game. We can more or less assume one player from either side is involved… For Montreal it could be Perezhogin, however it was most likely for one of Vancouver’s, where it could be Balej or King (more likely King as he was just assigned to the AHL recently… now looks suspicious)>
2. Montreal sent 8 scouts to Vancouver. That means that whatever the trade is it won’t involve a Todd Bertuzzi or an Ed Jovanovski. Why? Because you wouldn’t send scouts to see how they play, people already KNOW how they play. 8 scouts means that were watching more than one player (probably to pick which ones they liked best) and seeing as how Montreal needs a goalie back and you can’t trade guys on the IR list (Cloutier) I bet some of those pairs of eyes were focused on Auld.
3. The Canucks have been calling up and experimenting with several energy guys as of late. Rick Rypien, Alexandre Burrows, guys known as energy, agitator checkers. We can only assume it is to prepare for the loss of a guy in this type of roll (Cooke, Ruutu, Kesler).
Now it is a job of just matching up the money.
Theodore makes 4.5 Million. The Canucks have approximately 3.5 million in room without shooting themselves in the foot (saved by the injury to Cloutier). Montreal is in desperate need of a centre. They seem confident with Cristobal Huet in net (I would be as well). He and Auld won’t be any worse then what they got now, and they will be significantly cheaper. Souray isn’t having as good a year as his last, but he has not terrible and with the Canucks depleted defence Montreal will be hard pressed to get one from them.
The big issue is what happens when/if Cloutier gets back from injuries.
I see it going down something like this:
King (450k) note: not currently counting against Canucks salary
The future considerations are where the trade evens up because it involves Cloutier. I do not know if it is allowed under the collective bargaining agreement but I believe it would go something like “If Cloutier becomes healthy he heads to Montreal for a mid pick/prospect, if not then Vancouver gives a high pick”
The actual trade is pure speculation and it could be changed either way to even it out… all indications though, are that Montreal is trying to dump Theodore for young prospects, possibly to make more room for a future move. It’s just a matter of connecting the dots.
Watch all this typing be for nought and it is something dumb like Brookbank for Ivanovs or whatever the hell his name is.