Latest on the Canadiens and Hurricanes.

The NHL’s Christmas “trade freeze” is in effect until December 27th, but that hasn’t stopped speculation on the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey looks at what could be in store for the Canadiens in the coming weeks, instructing Habs fans hoping for a blockbuster trade not to hold their breath. If the club is out of the playoffs by the trade deadline, that could make them a seller, but it would be difficult to move some of their high-salaried veterans.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Canadiens fans should hope the club rallies for new head coach Randy Cunneyworth. There’s no major trade coming which will turn things around after the trade freeze is lifted.

Should Hurricanes consider moving "untouchables" like Cam Ward?

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander noted Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford continues to say he’s looking at potential trades and often mentioned dealing a defenseman for a forward. He also asks fans which “untouchables” should be considered trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation Eric Staal might be dealt, but Rutherford swiftly denied Staal or Cam Ward were available.

29 Comments

  1. I would like to know who in the Canadiens room isn’t buying into to system. The players keep mentioning that it’s tough when everyones not on the same page. So who is it? That’s probably why the asst GM I’d now behind the bench. Are they going to try to identify who the guys are that aren’t listening and trade them? Strange happenings with the team this year, yeah injuries seem to be larger this year but the team looks good then they get a PP and they all slow down. Then they get a lead midway past the 2nd period and the slow down and just let the other team attack. It’s strange.

  2. I give very little credence to the denials of GM’s, Don Maloney adamantly denied his desire to trade Turris, GM’s have to remain in a position of strength for negotiation purposes. Feaster continues to deny interest in trading Iginla but if the right offer presented itself it would be done. Hockey is a business first and not making good business decisions with your assets is not good job security.

  3. The fact is the only good players on that Habs team are Plekanec, Subban, and Price. Beyond that the rest of the team are a bunch of overpaid players that nobody would want. It’s time for a complete rebuild.

  4. Kyle- pacioretty? Cole? Desharnais? Gorges? Gionta? Those are guys every team would take. Do you watch Canadiens games? It’s the consistency that’s killing them (and some injuries). When they are 5-5 they work hard (except for Cammy) then the PP comes and everyone goes slow motion. Or they have that third period lead and sit back too much and the other teams take the puck hard to the net. That’s the frustrating part. A team that knew how to shut teams down has forgotten it, and the formerly top 3 PP is long gone and every team needs the take advantage of other teams mistakes to bury their confidence. Instead it’s been the other way around. But to suggest there’s only three guys worth keeping is wrong. A big problem has been inexperience on the D, but you can’t fix it with the Gomez and Markov contracts. It’s obvious that Gomez has this season left with the Canadiens, but after that he will be off the team for sure. It’s a wait and see if the staff can figure out how to get more of a aggressive approach to leading a game instead of this constant sitting back.

  5. @Smielman You say a big problem is inexperience on he D. And we hear that Kaberle will probably be moved, Gill is done if he’s not moved, and you have don”t enough cap space to sign all this year’s UFAs and RFAs, never mind picking up some veteran dmen. That leaves Subban as your vet, and his game has seriously dropped. Defense isn’t his strong suit to begin with. Overpaid players not showing any effort is another problem. Who’s fault is all this? It points to the GM. If Gauthier and his horrible performance isn’t removed this team will be mediocre for the foreseeable future.

  6. I’d take Carey Price, Brian Gionta,Hal Gill, Mike Cammalleri, PK Subban and others in a heartbeat. Lots of good players in Montreal. Really can’t understand why they struggle. I expect them to pick it up soon.

  7. @ SmielmaN, no, no, no, maybe and nooooooo! Sorry but Kyle is right there are few players that other teams would want unless they are fleecing the Habs and one of these players are thrown in. This team is not anything close to the teams of its past and its players, with the exception of maybe a handful are keepers. Sorry Habs, welcome to the suck.

  8. No player is untradeable. Just ask Wayne Gretzky. GM’s have to deny they will trade marquis players because otherwise it creates hysteria in the media, a lack of focus in the players on the team, and diminishes a players value with potential trade partners. If a GM is looking to dump a player who is an anchor like Kaberle was in Carolina, that is another story altogether. When that happens, they get the word out to anyone who will listen.

  9. Uh yeah, the Canadiens’ two best players are Desharnais and Pacioretty (plus elite Carey Price). I’d keep Pleks, and Gionta is a good special teams player with Cammaleri and Subban. However, the Canadiens need a top pairing shutdown d-man (I sincerely hope they make a pitch for Shea Weber; he belongs on that team) and Hal Gill has run his course and should consider retirement; he’s too slow and too much of an offensive liability. Darche, Diaz, and Weber are worthy and Cole is finally starting to play to his usual level (second line power forward).

  10. Montreal is still to small. Every team in the league is using that against them. Sure they picked up Cole but is he really going to be their savior, I think not. Cammaleri has lost his desire it seems. Kostitsyn is in one of his mental “slumps”. Subban is not as great as everyone in Montreal was hoping.
    You can blame injuries on their currant status, but every team goes through that and a couple of them are close to the top of the standings. Will a coaching change make the differance? Maybe for a game or two, but I doubt it looking at the schedule. Perhaps it is time for the habs to recognize that they are going in the wrong direction and start a re-build. That is of course if the habs fans can recognize that this is what the team needs and be patient. That in its self is an impossibility, Habs fans being patient, lol. I for one am enjoying the habs slide and hope it continues for many years to come.

  11. This is getting boring, Montreal has no worries, Leafs will soon tank and miss the playoffs as they revert to form. Once Kessel and Lupul come back down to earth, the Leafs will crumble and Montreal will get the 8th slot. OK, now that I have Peed off all the Leafies, this should liven things up

  12. I’m no leafs fan, but I’m gonna guess they make playoffs this year. Montreal is out. Kessel is a legit superstar, but yeah Lupul is on the streak of his life and will come back down to earth.

  13. @alforducks, you are entitled to your opinion. Tell us though, just where are your ducks in the standings. Hey, no worries though they just might snag Yakupov.

  14. It’s subbans second year and I wouldn’t say he’s a bust by any means. The team needs to stabalize, simplify, and drive the net. And if “Donneybrook” wouldn’t take pacioretty on his team then it would seem like mike milbury would have a rival for terrible GM (cue the Gauthier comments). Realistically Gauthier hasn’t made bad moves except listening to however told him Markov was close to 100%. Letting Wiz go angered me a bit but I was also under the impression Markov would be back. Hind sight is 20/20. I dont think Montreal is short on talent, elite talent yes, but so is half the league. Flame up my posts if you want, but I think they have good players, just need to get more aggressive when playing with a lead and on the PP. oh well, of they tank the rest of the year then we get a quality pick, get rid of a couple guys, and try again. I still have my tix for the April 7 game against the leafs and no amount of suck will keep me from driving 1000kms to watch it.

  15. Whoever, not however. iPhone’s cant correct brain cramps I suppose

  16. Maybe Montreal just isnt as good as their fans or GM had hoped.

    I love how Gainey trades for Gomez and then leaves the club, If memory serves me Gainey’s last summer didnt this team have a tonne of cap space and roster spots?

    So Honestly this ins’t the current GMs problem, I think he only made the Kaberle and Eller trades I could be wrong.

    And for the record Halak is sitting behind Brian “Freaking” Elliot so that trade is a toss up as of now.

  17. Wow it is slow, an hour ago I made the comment that Leafs won’t make the playoff’s and haven’t even gotten one death threat from a leafs fan, must have closed up shop for the holidays

  18. obvious troll is obvious, trollface etc. …

    The reason Montreal acquired Gomez in the first place was so they could convince Gionta and Cammalleri to join in. Sorry they aged since their glory days from New Jersey and Calgary. Sometimes rebuilding via free agency and trade doesn’t work out. Ask my Rangers how that worked through the late 90’s. The good news is they’ve drafted pretty well over the last decade and that talent is starting to trickle into the roster as it matures.

    As the saying goes in the reef aquarium community, nothing good happens fast.

  19. I am a huge Montreal fan. I try and give opinions on what the Habs are doing wrong and what should be done. I am not sure that Montreal should can Pierre Gauthier only because he is a smart man. Some of his decisions are more based on fixing for the present rather than the future and the whole policy of waiting to the end of the season to re-sign players needs to be thrown out the window. Subban, Price and Gorges all need to be re-signed and it worries me that they may leave. To do this, Montreal does need to do something about their financial problems. Gomez is forsure the piece that we would LIKE to move, but the only way that happens is if we send him down to the AHL or buy him out. I want to see Gauthier pull off risky but also smart moves. This team has a lot of talent, it just needs to play to their potential. I would love some feedback on my comment.

  20. Apparently the great Roy has even said he’d do some Coaching in MTL.

    I don’t understand the must know French thing… I mean; it’s not like the team is 90% Quebecois anymore, so for the media? Who cares about the media?

  21. I hope we’re sellers at the deadline, get rid of some useless people and concentrate on having a good draft and then with the young players we have and the good players we retain we can start fresh next year. No use of continuing to make moves to move just into the playoffs where nothing really happens and then we get a very average draft pick also.

  22. Habs lost their REAL leader when they let Muller walk. Cammalleri will re-emerge and you DON’T trade a player away who WANTS to be in Montreal. Gomez cap problem can be solved by shipping him to Hamilton, if Markov’s next comeback is less than 3 months worth of games, buy him out, not worth holding onto anymore. Eller will improve now that he’s back at centre. Habs need depth on D and a DECENT backup, Budaj isn’t cutting it.

  23. Danky, Price and Subban are RFA’s, they won’t be leaving anytime soon.
    What’s this business with Gomez “convincing” Cammy to sign there? First off Cammy came to the ACC first, when Burke turned him down he went to Ottawa and Montreal. I honestly think the whole “because of Gonez we got this player and that” is really drinking the cool aid. Price, Subban, Pach, Cammy, Georges and Plex are keepers IMO. I would take either on my team. Desharnias, Ellar, Weber all seem to be good pieces but not untouchable. LeBlanc and Beaulieu look to be good prospects. But the core is old and needs to be replaced. Gionta has as much worth as Koivu (not terrible, but not terribly coveted) Gomez and Kostitsyn need to take a hike and the rest are extremely replacable. darche is a good soldier too but replacable.
    Miokid, I agree. What’s with the bilingual thing? Who the F cares really? If it makes them win, that’s what should matter. Not the media and special interest groups.

  24. Got to be honest here. Who really cares! Its the habs and canes… lol

  25. Lets face it, habs offense is just weak when it comes to creating plays.
    Montreal has been a defense oriented team for the last several years (4-6 years). They worked out a great defensive system and neglicted on having a impactful offense playbook.

    Now that the D is ok playing D and sucks generating any offensive opportunities, they are getting whacked with a double whammy, poor offense based on a poor system and poor defense based on underperformance (esp. at the point on the PP). Only thing works is the PK and thats because Subban is in the box serving the penalty

    If the D isnt there on point, Price is vulnerable. He is good but not a great goalie. He gets beat easily on plays that premeire goalies handle. Awful on shoot-outs and gets beat on second and third rebounds all the time. He misplays the pucks a lot and sometime just looks slow in the crease

    The team’s offense relies on quick puck movement and sharp crisp shots at the net with hopes of beating the oppossing goalie. NOT forcing goals by rushing the net or deflections and that limits their opportunities. What is required is one superstar play maker that forces the rest of the offensive line up to play the net but than the size of the offensive is a disadvantage.

    Pleky – Cole – Pacioretty would be an interesting line
    Cammy – Gionta – Kostitsyn is a line that gets flashy goals when the team is on point

    Desharnais – Pacioretty have a good chemistry on a line and Cole adds to it – lacks force

    Cammy is slumping and I consider him as the best all around offensive player .. his shot is missing and his play is predictable.. the league knows that powerplay and shot

    Cole is a hustler and plays hard but needs to be able to pick up rebounds and not create the offense

    Gionta is a leader and solid but not a major goal scorer.. still dependable tho

    Moen having a career year and is the guts and grit of the team but not lighting lamps – he is the team’s only tough guy and helps with the teams confidence

    Kostitsyn has his good games but just is inconsistant and needs to be packaged in a trade, where he will become a star in a 3rd tier market team

    Eller has never done anything that adds to the offense since he was traded for and getting played out

    Gomez just needs to get into stand up and hang up the skates.. he probably would have a stronger shot if he used a clothes hanger instead. For Gomez, If the puck was superman his stick is cryptonite

    Darche should just become Youppi instead..he is kinda useless
    Nokelianen is useless

    Subban just sucks this year mentally and performance wise and needs to go back to fundamentals. Demotion isnt in the cards anymore, so he lost his edge and effort

    Gill continues to suck and continues to be tall but needs to be packed up in a trade
    Weber not a really an ideal defensemen either not sure what is going on there

    AND THE MOST USELESS and WORST is the guy that plays the music at Bell Centre.. He forgets its hockey and not a gay club.. HE NEEDS TO GO SINCE VERTIGO!! Geeez@!!

  26. If you play like crap and lose, the end result is the same, in both official languages.

    Now let me add some Tabasco sauce into the recipe.

    If the Habs are looking for an exciting head coach in Montreal, why not consider Ted Nolan?

    I am not sure if he is bilingual, but he is from the Soo, and he has been coaching in Moncton. Between where he grew up and where he has been coaching for the last few years he has probably learned as much “street french” as Pat Burns ever did. Before you all pile on me , at least admit that he has more experience and a better coaching pedigree than Monsieur Roy. After all It is about hiring a good coach isn’t it?

  27. @DinoRondelly…

    I dunno about the Halak trade being a toss up. Now, I’m not sure if Halak is in a slump or showing his true form; but his stats are still pretty good as it stands aside from the W-L column. I think it’d be fair to say the habs made the right decision in keeping Price. But they traded Halak, who is considered a starting goalie, straight up for Lars Eller and Ian Schultz. Personally, I see nothing in Eller – but he is on the NHL roster I suppose, which is somewhat encouraging. However, I’ve seen Schultz play in Hamilton – I doubt he’ll ever play an NHL game and he appears to be on the brink of getting reassigned to the ECHL. Unless Lars Eller blossoms into something special, the habs got fleeced, even if Halak goes on to be a mediocre starter, he still IS a starter, and they should have at least gotten a draft pick and maybe a better prospect back in return.

  28. @D-POC

    Your probably right about the Halak trade I havent heard or seen anything on Schultz but Eller looks like he could be a good 3rd line guy.

    I was simply trying to say I dont think its the current GMs fault the way the team is I would blame Gainey cause he basically had a clean slate to rebuild this team however he wanted his last summer there and this is what he left behind.

  29. does anyone else cringe every time Gaborik scores? Knowing Gainey decided to trade for Gomez and freeing up the room for the Rangers to sign him instead of making a run at him himself…yeesh…