So trade deadline day is upon us and the Habs have already fired their first volley.
We at HabsAddict.com are going to try to bring you all of the details on all of the moves the Habs make today. In addition, we'll post a few of the more interesting trades from around the league.
So bookmark this page and check back often. We'll have trade details, links, commentary and more. So enjoy!
10:55 AM: Montreal trades much maligned forward, Andrei Kostitsyn, to join his brother in Nashville with the Predators.
The Habs get a second round pick in 2013 and a conditional fifth round pick.
Here is the official notice from the Habs
TSN - TRADECENTRE: CANADIENS TRADE KOSTITSYN TO PREDATORS FOR PICKS
RDS - Retrouvailles à Nashville
Kamal's Note: While some are lamenting the fact the Habs didn't get more in return, I think the reality if that the market dictates it's own terms. We have to assume that this is the best Montreal could do.
Also, a second round pick in what is supposed to be a deep draft next season is nothing to sneeze at. The Habs now have three second rounders for next year and what's wrong with packaging one or two of them, with them first round pick, to move up in the draft?
While it would have been nice to get a higher pick and/or a solid prospect, the Habs are doing the right thing right now: loading up on picks and shedding salary. Let's face it folks, regardless of what the Habs' braintrust is saying publicly, this team is going to rebuild/retool.
Louis' Note: The optics of trading a former first round pick for a second rounder are not great and, personally, I find the return a bit disappointing.
With Ruutu and Hemsky off the market, I thought Kostitsyn would carry more value. Plus, based on the ridiculous return Dustin Penner got last year, I figured AK46 would fetch more than a second round selection.
Without necessarily fetching a first round choice, I reckoned he would go for a better package of picks.
12:05 AM - The Montreal Canadiens have claimed tough guy Brad Staubitz off waivers from Minnesota.
Staubitz is not known for his scoring prowess but is known for throwing his mitts. Here is his Hockey DB player page.
Kamal's Note: Unless the Habs are going to flip Staubitz in a trade—which I think it highly unlikely—this move is a continuation of the "getting bigger and tougher trend".
With rumours swirling that Pierre Gauthier is no longer running the ship, the recent trades certainly seem to support that idea. I mean at a minimum, there is a clear change in direction for this team.
And one that is think was long overdue.
Louis' Note: I always thought that Pierre Gauthier had a certain eye for size. However, the enforcer type player does not exactly fit the GM's M.O. Perhaps, as Kamal points out above, this is signal of a change in direction.
Regardless, with Darche, Blunden, Moen and Nokelainen injured, this move gives short term depth to the team's fourth line.
12:15 PM - According to La Presse beat writer, Richard Labbe, neither Mathieu Darche nor Travis Moen will be traded.
Labbe tweeted "Both Darche and Moen still not cleared, not on the market."
Kamal's Note: I think this is unfortunate for a Montreal team who is clearly acquiring picks and prospects. Moen and Darche could have fetch both for a rebuilding Montreal team.
That said, both are injured and, well, it's hard to trade an injured player.
Louis' Note: Too bad for Montreal. Travis Moen ,as I had argued previously, could have fetched a nice return, espeically from teams who might lose out on the apparent Steve Ott sweeps.
3:55 PM - And that's all she wrote, folks.
The Habs have made all the moves they are going to make and, after all is said and done, they traded Hal Gill and Andrei Kostitsyn to Nashville for second-rounders in 2012 and 2013, Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slaney.
Not bad, but not what you were expecting, was it?
Still on the roster are such supposed trade bait as Mathieu Darche, Travis Moen, Chris Campoli and Tomas Kaberle. I won't even mention Scott Gomez, because he wasn't going anywhere.
The good part out of all of this? The Habs have four picks in the top-60 of next year's (2013) supposedly deep draft. I could easily see them packing one or two of those second rounders, with their first pick in 2013, to move up next summer.
But, for now, the Habs are a shell-shocked team who are suffering through rumours that their GM is no longer running the ship, and that their locker room is divided. All of this while their are staring at last place overall in the Eastern Conference.
Yikes. Ugliness indeed.
Now it's time to just play out the rest of the season and wait to see what happens in the offseason.
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Enjoy the rest of your day, folks!