Where Do The Habs Stand At The Deadline?

Sorry to non-Habs fans for another Habs article, it’s just I haven’t written about them in nearly 6 months. So yeah, sorry.

Now, over the last 4 or 5 days, I’ve been asking myself just where does Montreal stand going into the Trade Deadline, which isĀ in 30 days. Should they be big buyers… and go after the Marian Hossa’s and Mats Sundin’s? Or should they continue to do what they’ve they’ve the last several seasons and aquire minor pieces like the Todd Simpson’s and Jim Dowd’s? Or should they stay the course with the current roster and the only changes should be the promotions of players like Kyle Chipchura and Carey Price near the Play-Offs?

As of right now, the biggest name’s I’ve heard (though the names may or may not be truely on the move) thus far are Alex Tanguay, Mats Sundin, Olli Jokinen and Marian Hossa. Should the Habs make a play for one of these players and give up quality prospects and draft picks for a player may or may not be here when Montreal’s ready for Cup Contention?

I think we can all agree that Montreal isn’t a Cup Contender this year, so that should rule out trading for Hossa and Sundin, well at least Sundin anyway. That leaves a possible though not likely trade off for Hossa, Jokinen or Tanguay. I personally believe none of them will be moved to Montreal and in Jokinen and Tanguay’s case, they are important pieces to their respective teams and neither Florida or Calgary should be making moves for Sundin considering they each have a bright future without Sundin.

Montreal has a very good and deep Prospect pool that could potentially be moved to aquire the “missing piece”, so to speak. Montreal’s highest ranking prospects according to hockeysfuture.com are: Carey Price, Ryan McDonagh, Kyle Chipchura, Max Pacioretty, Ben Maxwell, David Fischer, Sergei Kostitsyn, Jaroslav Halak, Mikhail Grabovski, Alexei Emelin, Ryan O’Byrne, PK Subban, Pavel Valentenko, Ryan White, Matt D’Agostini, Mathieu Carle, Ryan Russell and Mathieu Aubin. That’s a solid core group right there that includes 2 Goalies, 9 Forwards and 7 Defencemen. That’s depth for ya however, their exists such a thing as being too deep. Not all of these players are going to make it in Montreal and the only names I see being a valued part of the team are Price, McDonagh, Chipchura, Pacioretty, Fischer, Kostitsyn, O’Byrne, Valentenko and D’Agostini and I still believe that not all of these guys will make it in Montreal.

As of right now, Montreal’s biggest concern should be getting a good face-off man. They’ve gone this far without a Big Centre that it really isn’t necesarily needed right now like it has been in the past but in time, it will be needed again. So, why not play the part of a small buyer this year and get either Mike Peca or Jarret Stoll and let the team grow as a whole without disturbing anything? Both are Free Agents however Stoll is an RFA, is 8 years younger then Peca and offers more offensive upside. As for addressing the toughness issue, that can wait until July 1st when the likes of Georges Laraque, Eric Godard and Andre Roy and others like them hit the open market (The Free Agent market sucks this year).

I’d love to see a deal like this get done but I believe it won’t for various reasons.

To Edmonton:
Michael Ryder
Mikhail Grabovski (I believe he’d flourish with Gagner and/or Cogliano’s soft passes)

To Montreal:
Jarret Stoll (Give’s Montreal the desired Face-Off man they need)