Gionta’s name could be on the trade market

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun claims that the Habs have put out captain Brian Gionta’s name on the trade market. Gionta could be a useful player to any cup contending team with his leadership skills, experience and his solid two-way game. Gionta, 35, is at the end of a 5 year $25 million contract and will be a UFA at the end of this season.

Although Gionta’s value to the Canadiens is worth more than what they will get if they were to trade him at the deadline or earlier. The Canadiens would probably have to eat some of his salary in a move to a cup contender because of the tight cap space this year. The Habs can probably get a return of a mid-level prospect and a 2nd/3rd round pick for Gionta and at least 25% of retained salary.

The Habs are better off to just hold on to Gionta for a playoff run of their own if they can stay in the hunt. If the Habs fallout and by deadline see themselves as sellers then trading Gionta will be a greater option then to keep him.

I don’t believe Gionta is going anywhere soon, at least until the summer.