Rabid Habs

Trade Summary

Habs' Jeff Petry

As the trade deadline has now passed, focus shifts to the playoffs as the collective interests of the Montreal Canadiens and their fans are now firmly fixed on the Stanley Cup. Only one team will ultimately hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, however the organization is poised to compete both in the short and long term. The total number of roster players exited by the Canadiens today was zero. Not a single one. Sekac, the one roster player to move in 2015, was acquired via free agency, only costing the organization the cap hit and one of 50 professional contracts. Ladies and gentlemen, that is cap management and asset management rolled into one tidy package.

Despite the recent improved play of Tom Gilbert, the Canadiens needed a RH defencemen to play inside the top 4. Every team in the league must have recognized this deficiency. Yet, somehow, despite this need and despite the leverage that the Oilers were likely to apply in a seller’s market, Bergevin managed to acquire Jeff Petry for a 2nd rounder and a conditional fifth round draft pick. Although I never like giving up draft picks for rentals, I believe there is a very real chance that Petry is retained, pending salary cap fluctuations.

The third and fourth line saw an injection of experience and offensive talent in the form of Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn. Look, I love youth in the lineup. I really like watching Bournival and Thomas hustle up and down the ice. Both players acquitted themselves favourably and remain fixtures within the organization going forward. That said, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Thomas-Bournival-Malhotra have a total of 9 points in a combined 100 games this season. Both Flynn and Mitchell have more points than all three Habs combined. This, despite playing on an historically bad, historically limited offensive team like the Sabres. Flynn was fifth in Sabres scoring with 17 points, while Mitchell was 7th with 13 points. In a classic case of having your cake and eating it to, the Canadiens can rely on both Flynn and Mitchell in the short term, while retaining Thomas and Bournival for the future. Unbelievably the Canadiens did not have to give up a roster player or prospect beyond Jack Nevins for either player.

In summary, although these moves might not be heralded as landscape altering, the simple fact remains that the Canadiens have improved, while not impacting the core or chemistry this unit has established. It’s the complimentary players that will help augment the existing group and could be valuable commodities as the team presses forward in pursuit of a 25th Stanley Cup.

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