The NHL roster freeze has lifted and the NHL schedule continued last night after a 16 day break for the Olympic Games. The NHL trade deadline is just one week away, as teams will no longer be allowed to make deals by this time next Wednesday.
So let’s take a look at what is being rumored to be happening around the Montreal Canadiens, and what can realistically be expected to happen.
Markov on the move?
There has been plenty of speculation over the past few days about the the longest tenured Habs future in Montreal. Apparently Marc Bergevin offered the offensive defenseman a lucrative one year deal, but the veteran Russian is looking for a three year contract.
The inability to come to terms has led some to believe Montreal may sell markov to the highest bidder on deadline day. They would be able to get a valuable return as Markov could fit into any teams top four and run a power play.
However, I just don’t think Montreal is in a position to sell off their second best defenseman. The Habs are one point back of Tampa Bay for second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. Not very often does a team in a position to possibly have home ice in the playoffs trade away one of their top players.
What do I see happening?
Markov stays and does not re-sign before the deadline. The Habs wait it out and see how he performs down the stretch and into the postseason. If Markov slows down a bit (as he has in the past), Montreal will then deal his rights at the draft for a late draft pick, and go fishing in free agency to replace him.
If Markov plays well after the deadline, the two teams will compromise and come to agreement on a two year deal worth 5.5 million per season.
P.A Parenteau coming to Montreal?
This rumor has been hanging out there for several weeks and just does not seem to want to go away. First the slick winger was coming to Montreal for Rene Bourque, then he was part of a huge deal that would send P.K. Subban to Colorado, then it was Daniel Briere the Avalanche were after.
Then, Alex Tanguay was injured and Colorado was down a scoring winger for the rest of the season. The rumor still has not gone away, but has certainly died down since the Tanguay injury.
What do I see happening?
This thing has to be put to bed. There may have been something going on here when the Avs were firing on all cylinders and Parenteau was injured. However, now that Tanguay is out and Colorado is shaping up to possibly make some noise in a very difficult Western Conference, Parenteau will stay put.
Do the Habs have interest in Hemsky?
The Hockey News mentioned that Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers is on the trading block once again and that Montreal could be a landing place. They also mentioned several other teams could be interested due to Hemsky’s offensive instincts and the fact that he is in a contract year, so he would be a pure rental with no future obligations.
Montreal has struggled to score goals all season, so it would make sense that they are interested in adding an offensive winger to the mix. However, I don’t think Hemsky is the man for the job in Montreal. If Hemsky were to become a Hab, he would have to put on one of the top two lines, and most likely the second line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. This leaves no room for Briere, as he does not fit on the teams bottom six and proved that earlier in the season.
So Hemsky would essentially be replacing Briere in the lineup, which would not be much of an upgrade. Hemsky has scored 24 points this season playing with the Oilers, while Briere has 17 with Montreal. I just don’t see the point in replacing a 17 point player with a guy who has 24. Maybe if they were traded straight up for each other (which won’t happen) it would make sense for Montreal, since they would be rid of a bad contract a year earlier.
What do I see happening?
Well, nothing here. There is just no point in trading away a pick, even a mid round pick for Ales Hemsky. He just does not fit on this roster right now, and is having one of the worst offensive seasons of his career.
So with a week to go until the trade deadline what can we expect from the Habs?
You can expect Bergevin to be in on top six scorers, but not middle of the road ones like Hemsky. If Parenteau were available then the Habs will make a push. They will also go after scorers Matt Moulson, Mike Cammalleri and Thomas Vanek.
The thing with Marc Bergevin is he is infatuated with his draft picks past and future. He is not the kind of guy who will mortgage the future to bring in a big name like Vanek.
Which means, expect the Habs to be fairly quiet for the next week. I know it is now what anyone wants to hear, but the Habs will kick lots of tires and make mediocre offers for great players, and then come up empty at the deadline.
Tags: Montreal Canadiens