Canadiens will be buyers at trade deadline
The Montreal Canadiens currently have $4,372,063 in cap space according to capgeek.com and are reportedly in the buying side of the trade deadline market. According to CTV’s Brian Wilde the Habs are looking for a big 3rd line winger and a bottom six defenseman to help solidify their roster for the playoff’s. If the Montreal Canadiens are looking for those two pieces it will definitely cost more than the $4.3 million in cap space they have right now plus with Davis Drewiske’s $637,500 to come off LTIR around playoff time.
The Montreal Canadiens can go after guy’s like Matt Moulson, Brad Boyes, Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi as suggested by Brian Wilde but none of those actually fit the bill of the type of forward the Habs are searching for. Curtis Glencross seems like the guy who fits the description but to pry him out of Calgary will cost a fortune, maybe a Tuomo Ruutu who would cost a lot less than Glencross though injuries have plagued him as of late and his production hasn’t been that great at all let alone his $4.75 million cap for the next two seasons. Some other possible options are Edmonton’s Ryan Jones, who may be closer to a 4th liner than a 3rd, but nonetheless carries a low cap hit and can be obtained for a pretty cheap price. Colorado’s Jamie McGinn has been linked to trade rumors this season and reports indicate the Avs are trying to move him, McGinn’s contract expires after this season and will become a RFA. As for the bottom six defenseman there are plenty of options available around the NHL. Tom Gilbert, Chris Butler, Keith Aulie, Tyson Barrie, Alec Martinez, Mark Fayne, Kris Russel, Nikita Nikitin and Ryan Wilson are all possible options that could be available.
What do the Habs have available for trade?
Rene Bourque has been linked to a couple of rumors although his poor play and point production won’t return the Canadiens very much. Daniel Briere is a possible trade target and was recently talked about a lot in trade negotiations. Raphael Diaz is a pending UFA at the end of this season and has become a decent #5 defenseman with the Habs. The Avs could be interested in him as a depth move for maybe Jamie McGinn. Francis Bouillon could be moved to a team looking for some veteran depth and could also be part of a package deal involving other players. Lars Eller who will become a RFA will definitely attract some attention around the league if GM Marc Bergevin decides to put him out there. Eller had a fantastic start to the year but has slowed down in the last 20 games and is in line for a pretty significant pay raise. Eller could command up to $3.5-$4 million on a 2-4 year contract, but with his recent play the Canadiens could get a much better deal around $2.5-$3 million for 2-3 years. The habs currently have Plekanec (1), Desharnais (2), Eller (3) and White (4) down the middle with Galchenyuk set to move to the center ice position in the very near future makes Eller a possible trade option because of his value.
Certainly the Habs will have to move out some salary in order to make the desired moves.