Trades and Rumors – Feb 24, 2011


Marek Svatos will be joining his third NHL team, the Ottawa Senators

Washing Capitals Eying a Two-Way Center

Montreal acquires Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes from Thrashers


The exodus in the nation’s capital continues as the Ottawa Senators shipped veteran forward Alex Kovalev to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday for a conditional seventh-round pick.

If Pittsburgh wins the first round of the playoffs and Kovalev plays in at least fifty percent of the games, the pick becomes a sixth-round selection.

It has been a disappointing tenure for Kovalev in Ottawa after signing a two-year, $10 million deal with the team as a free agent in 2009; however the enigmatic Russian sniper has turned up his game as of late. He has 14 goals and 13 assists in 54 games this season. He waived his the ‘no-trade’ clause in his contract in order to get the deal with the Penguins done.

An Olympic gold medalist with Russia in 1992, Kovalev has scored over 400 goals and recorded over 1000 points in his 18-year NHL career.

Despite signs of slowing down, Kovalev should be able to help the injury plagued Penguins down the stretch and in the playoffs. The veteran has a bevy of playoff experience and was a member of the 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers. This will be his second stint in Pittsburgh after spending five seasons there earlier in his career.

Marek Svatos will be joining his third NHL team, the Ottawa Senators.

Svatos came back to the NHL after signing a one year deal with the St. Louis Blues in December. Having to clear waivers, he was promptly picked up by the Nashville Predators.

Yesterday, Svatos was put on waivers by the Predators and was quickly picked up by the Ottawa Senators.

Svatos has only recorded three points in nine games this year for the Preds and will join the Sens for their rebuild, but for the remainder of the season.

Svatos becomes a UFA July 1st.

Washing Capitals Eying a Two-Way Center

The Washington Post is reporting that Capitals GM George McPhee is in the market for a two-way center.

He will be looking for a capable two-way center but should also maybe look into grabbing a defenceman as the Caps “d” has been one of their weaker positions on the ice.

But as it stands now, McPhee will be going after a two-way center as players such as Marty Reasoner, Jason Arnott and Cory Stillman come to mind.

Montreal acquires Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes from Thrashers

The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenceman Brent Sopel and forward Nigel Dawes from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for forward prospect Ben Maxwell and a fourth round draft pick.

The acquisition of the 34-year old Sopel should help the Canadiens with their injury concerns on the blueline. Although the Calgary native has been a healthy scratch recently and has only two goals and five assists on the season, he did help the Chicago Blackhawks capture the Stanley Cup last season. In 647 career games split between the Canucks, Islanders, Kings, Blackhawks and Thrashers, Sopel has 44 goals and 174 assists and is plus 33 for his career.

61 Responses to Trades and Rumors – Feb 24, 2011


     exactly but why werent producing in Montreal, would you rather have Ribiero, Latendresse Halak, Kostitsyn than Boyd Ellis Niinimaa, Lang and pouliot in the Line-up???

     Again I don't see Sopel taking the Habs to the next level or making the habs a better team than Philly or Boston so why even border with a guy that will turn UFA at the end of the season??? Maxwell was pretty good in Hamilton and was helping Avstin developed but now Avstin is young and alone which most likely will slow down his developement.

     Sopel and Mara were obvious mistakes and regardless of what your telling me these moves won't help the Habs win a playoffs round nor will it help in the long run.

     And what with Gauthier making all those trade with Anaheim??? Little strange don't you think??? Last year Mara wasn't good enough for the Habs we let him go when we could of sign him without giving anything in return, no, instead we give up a 4th rounder for a guy that wasn't even playin in Anaheim???
     You might say it's only a 4th rounder but remember Alexander Avstin is a 4th rounder.

  2. NonLeafFansAreGay says:

    Haha no problemo (:

  3. HABSSTAR says:

    Why weren't they producing? 

    Ribiero and Latendresse: Partially because they're french kids who thought that that fact alone was going to guarantee them a spot in the line up, additionally to that fact for Ribiero he was a douchebag.  Also partially because there's a  lot of pressure on them from the fans and media.  Everyone wants the next Lafleur and Richard, but to be honest those guys don't come along every day.  Also the team does a poor job of insulating young players of all types from that pressure as well as life in a city like Montreal. 

    Latendresse flat out refused to go to the net in Montreal.  EVERYONE was telling him to do so and the goals would come by the dozens.  He was a big kid and needed to use his size.  He refused to, he was going to be a dangler…  So he's traded to Minisota which apparently makes him realize that "Oh shit, guess I'm not untouchable" he then proceeds to play to his size and does well.  The point remains that it wasn't going to happen in Montreal.  He admitted as much in an interview on RDS where he said getting traded from the Habs was a total shock and made him stop and think.  He was given every chance, Muller was forever trying to get through to him and he just outright didn't want to do it.  Potential, at some point, has to be realized.  It wasn't going to be with Latendresse. 

    Halak hasn't exactly done a bang up job in St. Louis, mind you that team is a mess so not his fault.

    Kostitsyn… which one?  Never mind, I stick by my statement that I'd sooner have a half eaten ho-ho then either of them.  Maybe we could have packaged them both for a full one? 

    I agree that neither Sopel or Mara will help win a playoff round.  That's why I called them a depth move.  As for finding someone who will make us better than Philly and Boston… that will require us to trade for Pronger and Lucic.  So who do you think we got the players that will get us those guys??

    Yes, I realize that Avstin is a fourth rounder.  I also realize that he hasn't played a game in the NHL yet and that if he does, and becomes everything we hope he can be he'll be one of a small percentage of 4th rounders to be an impact player.  

    He probably trades with Anaheim because he's got contacts there (since he worked there) and it makes deals easier.  

    Now, I'm not a huge fan of Gauthier, I was keeping my fingers crossed that the Habs would have gotten Yzerman (who has stated he would have jumped at a chance to be GM of the Canadiens) however I just think you're over blowing this move.  Maxwell is not going to be an effective NHLer, so we turned him into some temp help for our banged up blue line.  That's all it is, no more no less.  

  4. HABSSTAR says:

    I think it's a combination of a couple of things: 

    Poor drafting – they obviously identify players with talent but are falling down pretty hard on the aspect of picking a player who is mentally tough enough to be able to play in Montreal.  A good example of this is Latendresse who everyone on the Habs coaching squad, including Muller, tried to get to go to the net and use his size and the guy just flat out refused.  He was convinced he had a spot on the team because he was french and from Quebec and didn't need to listen to the coaches.   

    Poor insulation of young players:  A young hockey player who has the tag of "the next great hope" can get himself into more trouble and distractions in Montreal than any other city in the NHL (that is until they put a team in Vegas). The team for some reason ignores this and instead pretty much lets them have free reign.  This always results in problems. 

    As for development itself, I think the farm team has done a good job in the last several years of developing players.  I don't think Martin is a good coach for young guys however, one mistake and they're glued to the bench while a guy like Gomez can play at a level that is basically a month long mistake at a time and gets a regular shift.  With the prospect of Muller going on to be a head coach somewhere else this becomes a bigger concern.  I'm not sure the Habs shouldn't find another place for Martin in the organization and give Muller a chance as HC.  You still have Martin who can be a back up plan if the Muller experiment blows up in your face, but at the same time you put a coach behind the bench that seems to be able to talk to the kids and get something out of them. 

    I'm not sure it's a matter of having a timid GM.  What trades could Montreal pull off knowing that PK, Max Pac, and Leblanc are not in play? 

  5. HABSSTAR says:

    Well yeah, a depth move is always disapointing when you want a blockbuster. lol

  6. HABSSTAR says:

    And yet we've still managed to collect more points than your might maple leafs. 

    Let's play a game!  You hold your breath and I'll tell you when to stop.  Ok?  Ready…set… start!

  7. TheLeafNation91 says:

    You forgot Grabo 😀

    And, I don't understand Montreal's infatuation with Avstin. He's a project and unless he's a first rounder, those typically never pan out.

    He's equivalent to the Marlies prospect Marcel Mueller. Both big in size, both skate well, and both have good hands…But I do realize that unfortunately he will most likely be just that…An AHLer

    Avstin: 4 goals and 13 assists in 39 gp
    Mueller: 9 goals and 16 assists in 53 p

    Very similar in production…But these guys are just projects and will most likely remain that way

  8. HABSSTAR says:

    At the time it was a matter of picking between the K's and him.  I think Montreal went with the odds that two guys with potential to have a decent skill set is better than one.  Obviously it was the wrong call, but I'm not sure there is many GMs out there that would have played that one differently.  Hell even Burke was looking to trade Grabo for a bag of pucks in the first season after he signed him to a new contract. 

    I'm not sold on him yet.  If he puts up another year like this year then I'll give it to him.  But in the back of my mind I think he's just one of those guys that will bounce up and down throughout his career.

  9. HABSSTAR says:

    Burke will make a play for Markov as I doubt he's signed by the Habs before July 1, given his injury.

  10. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I wouldn't be surprised…But it would be a one-year deal most likely…Can't see him signing an often-injured defencemen at a long-term contract for tons of money (Whose also 33?)

    And wow, Montreal, unless signed, would most likely lose another player for nothing

  11. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    I think that most Canadiens fans realize you can't spin sh*t into solid gold anymore – like how alot of Leafs fans figure that a package of Bozak/Kadri and Gustavsson is going to land them practically any top 10 scorer in the NHL.

    And it is nice to see the Wiz putting up good numbers in Montreal – to a non-Islanders fan that trade looks like it's nothing but trust me if you've actually ever watched him play a game he can be a top 3 d-man on almost any team in the league – I'm however content with the rebuild in New York and think we're going to challenge next year for the playoffs, just have to find a way to convince Rick Dipietro to retire.

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