With an Olympic break trade freeze about to set in on Friday afternoon, trade talks around the National Hockey League have begun to pick up. Oddly, Montreal Canadiens rumors have gone fairly quiet.
That is, except for the ongoing circus between the Habs and the Colorado Avalanche.
First we heard that the Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin turned down a deal that would have sent Rene Bourque to Denver for P.A. Parenteau. Things turned to chaos as fans could not believe how Bergevin could do such a thing.
Then, the actual details came out, and we learned that Colorado wanted the Habs to keep paying Bourque and also send young winger Sven Andrighetto to the Avs as well.
The rumors hit a fever pitch when Parenteau was then made a healthy scratch for a pair of games. Parenteau would be put back in the Avs lineup against the Buffalo Sabres and had points in his next two contests.
A day later we found out the Habs were possinly targeting rugged winger Jamie McGinn, and the names of Bourque and Parenteau were tossed around in discussion as well.
Things began to settle down and then Mike Chambers posed a blog saying that the Canadiens might give up P.K. Subban for Parenteau, draft picks and prospects.
With all the smoke here there must be a small fire at least.
Parenteau is 30 years old and a good offensive winger. The thing is, the Habs already have similar players in Daniel Briere and Brian Gionta. Parenteau would be an upgrade on either of those veteran wingers, but not enough of one to be trading assets to bring him in.
If the Avs were willing to take Briere in a trade for Parenteau, then I would be the first to endorse it. Would the Avs be interested in trading for Briere?
When Colorado traded Steve Downie for Max Talbot earlier in the season, they cited his playoff experience as the biggest reason to bring him in. Are the Avalanche still looking for playoff vets to surround their excellent young core of Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog? If so, Briere has 109 points in his playoff career, while the entire Avalanche roster has 125 career postseason points.
Also, it may be coincidence but Briere was moved back to the wing and given a chance to showcase his skills on a line with Tomas Plekanec days after the Montreal-Colorado rumors went viral. The Avs are stacked down the middle and may have wanted to see what Briere could do on the wing before making a deal.
I know it is not a popular opinion that Briere has much trade value, and I would agree with that sentiment for the most part. However, he has one of the best playoff resumes of all active NHLers, and the skilled young forwards in Colorado could use another veteran in their room, before heading into their first or second playoff appearance.
Briere and Parenteau both have 4 million dollar cap hits this season and next, but Parenteau has another year remaining beyond next season, when Briere’s contract ends.
So maybe the Avalanche are not that interested in Rene Bourque, but the Habs were more willing to move Bourque than Briere. I believe it is very possible that the Avalanche liked the line combinations they had when Parenteau was injured recently, and would move him for a similar player with playoff experience.
What About Subban Rumor?
But what about this Subban trade that Chambers was talking about? Parenteau, picks and prospects for Subban does not seem to make much sense from a Habs point of view.
Anyone in the league would be excited to being in Subban, and let’s just say for arguments sake that he is available. It would take a lot of picks and prospects in addition to Parenteau to get a deal done.
Does Chambers consider Nathan MacKinnon a prospect? He must, because that is the only prospect that would be close to a big enough piece that could pry Subban out of Montreal.
So MacKinnon, Parenteau and a first round pick from the Avalanche for Subban? May be too much for Habs to ask for and it leaves Habs with too many forwards and not enough defensemen. This is where Briere and Bourque’s names would come up in the conversation. However, then the Avalanche don’t like their cap situation once Subban is re-signed, and the Habs still need a defenseman in return.
Well, the Habs just dealt Raphael Diaz and are now moving Subban, which leaves them without a right handed defenseman. That would leave the Habs wanting Erik Johnson or Tyson Barrie, and I would guess Barrie would be the best fit.
Barrie is young and has lots of offensive upside. He has 19 points in 39 games this season, and will be looking for a significant raise when his entry level contracr runs out in June.
To give up Barrie, you would have to think that the Avalanche will need a bit of a sweetener to the deal. They already have a weak defense, and though Subban improves it, they still need some help back there. The Avs are on their way to a playoff berth, and will be one of the NHLs top teams in the future, so they want a good young defenseman, and demand Jarred Tinordi if Barrie comes to Montreal.
The Final Deal
To Colorado: P.K. Subban, Daniel Briere, Jarred Tinordi
To Montreal: Nathan MacKinnon, P.A. Parenteau, Tyson Barrie, 2014 1st round pick
It would be a hugely complicated deal, but the Avalanche would get one of the best defensemen in the league, and a former first round pick who may be able to step in right away. They also replace Parenteau with a veteran who has almost outscored the entire Avs roster in their playoff careers.
Montreal loses Subban, and also a good young defenseman in Tinordi, as well as Briere. But they replace Briere’s current production with Parenteau, and get a first line center of the future in MacKinnon. They also grab Barrie who is a good young puck mover and a mid range first round pick to sweeten the pot.
I honestly think the Habs would be crazy to trade Subban at all, but the rumor out there was that they were in talks with the Avs about Subban. I am not saying this deal is going to happen, but just say Subban is sick of Michel Therrien and says he does not want to re-sign, this is the type of deal that Habs fans could expect in return.
In my opinion, we are not likely to see this type of deal, but are highly likely to see a Briere for Parenteau trade.
What do you think? Not nearly enough for one of the best defensemen in the world? Fair deal? Needs a small tweak? Does Briere for Parenteau make sense?
Let us know what you think in the comments section below, or send us a tweet @FSAWinningHabit to get some conversation going!