Latest on the Maple Leafs, Senators, Canadiens and Blue Jackets.

Calling on the Leafs to strike in the trade market…Senators might not make major deadline deal…Are the Canadiens shopping P.K. Subban?…Five Blue Jackets who could be on the trade block.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Jeff Blair believes the time has come for the Maple Leafs to make a significant addition to their forward lines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If we go by GM Brian Burke’s additions over the past couple of years around this time (Phaneuf, Lupul), it appears another big move will come soon. What it will be remains to be seen.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is impressed with his club’s surprising improvement this season, but insists the team is still in rebuild mode, suggesting if any deadline deals are made, it’ll be to “tweak” the lineup.

Subban on the trade block?

LA PRESSE: Robert Laflamme of Canadian Press reports of speculation the Montreal Canadiens might shop defenseman P.K. Subban, especially with GM Pierre Gauthier scouting teams in California. While observers believe there would be interest in Subban if he were put on the trade block, they doubt the Canadiens will shop him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Habs are getting a player of equal or greater value, they’d be fools to move Subban. Yes, he’s struggled at times this season, forced to do too much due to injuries to teammates and thrust into roles he’s not fully prepared for yet, but he’s got the skills to become an elite defenseman, which he undoubtedly will become as he matures. He’s a keeper, part of a young core of players the Canadiens should use as a foundation upon which to rebuild.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance listed Jeff Carter, Vinny Prospal, Derick Brassard, Antoine Vermette and Samuel Pahlsson as five Columbus Blue Jackets who could become trade candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Carter’s injuries, I believe the Blue Jackets management would like to see how well he and Rick Nash will perform together when he’s healthier. Brassard reportedly is no longer available. Prospal I think is the most likely to go, followed by Pahlsson, as both are UFAs this summer. Vermette is a possibility, though his $3.75 million per season contract would prove tough to move.

54 Comments

  1. If the Leaf’s don’t make a significant move up the standings in the next two weeks I’d rather see them be sellers (not buyers) at the deadline. With pending UFA’s Grabovski, Liles and vetrans Armstrong, Komisarek, and a few guys like MacArther, Connelly, and Gunnarsson the Leaf’s should be able to put some sort of a decent package together for an up and coming potential top line center that can play next year such as a Brayden Scheen.

  2. Apparently the Goat was seen scouting LA vs OTT. Wonder what he wants from the Kings. Stoll? (maybe) Brown? (in their dreams!) I can see the kings and habs making a deal, but giving up Suban would be a big mistake, unless (as Lyle said) you’re getting someone as good or better. But I don’t see LA giving up someone like Kopitar or Doughty for a package, so maybe this is will be a minor swap.

  3. @Durtmchurt : I think comparing Kopitar and doughty to subban is like comparing Ferraris to Volvos. The moves that Canadians have made this year all being quite embarrassing and laughable I highly doubt one of those players will get exchanged for an defencemen that turns pucks over like pancakes are turned over in the mornings.

  4. While I believe the Habs should definitely keep Subban – “Sophomore Slump” is a saying for a reason – any player is tradeable. As long as the return is better than what you give up, you should make the deal.

    The terrifying part is the thought of Pierre Gauthier handling this situation and making another awful trade that further cripples our team for another 5 years.

  5. Also, maybe the Kings want Kostitsyn? They need goals badly, and while he’s streaky as hell, he can put the puck in the net at points. Plus, he’s a UFA. Not sure the Habs would get much in return, but it might be something the Kings have their eyes on. Thoughts?

    (Though Kostitsyn’s recent chemistry with Eller and the fact he’s offering to take below market value to stay may mean he’s going nowhere, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Kings wouldn’t look at him, too)

  6. i personally don’t mind giving up subban, we got tinordi comming up next year and hopefully the highly eluded star MARKOV…habs have enough D, we need sum goal scorers asap.

  7. @McHurt: I don’t see Kings giving up Kopitar unless the return is a Malkin or Datsyuk, which is to say, they won’t deal their franchise centerman for anything less than a gross overpayment. Subban hasn’t reached that ‘franchise ________” yet, though he has potential.

    @Moleafs: McHurt may be wrong to think that Canadiens want to send Subban for Kopitar, but I’m positive he is not comparing Kopitar to Subban in terms of skill.

    It is patently absurd to compare a potential franchise d-man to a centerman who has cemented his spot as a no.1 and make the ‘Ferraris vs Volvos’ argument.

  8. @Moleafs, keep your Hab hate to yourself..Nobody wants to read drivel like what you just wrote..

    PK Subban is a dynamic player and certainly has all the skills to be an elite player in this league..Kopitar is the better player in terms of maturity, no doubt, but Doughty is in the same ballpark as PK in terms of development..If the Habs were to deal PK, we BETTER get an elite talent back because he is the closest thing to a franchise type of talent we have had in this franchise in 20+years..

  9. Moleafs and Rex, why are you implying I said the Kings would swap Kopitar or Doughty for Suban? If you read what I said again, I wrote quite the opposite. So again, for the slow learners out there, I don’t think Montreal will be able to get Kopitar or Doughty for a package that includes Suban, so I would guess a trade between the two teams would be a minor one. Stop putting words in my mouth.

  10. @ Durt I like the move to get Stoll being a slick but a little overpriced centre.He would be nice … but at what price. maybe Grabs and MacCauthur? I would not want to include and singant prospects. I would love to see Ryan Smith which could be somewhat affordable.

  11. The owners of the Canadiens, Blue Jackets and Islanders should NOT allow their GM’s to make ANY trades. They should be looking at getting a new GM RIGHT now and let the new GM make trades.
    Why do let the guy who screwed things up make important decisions that the next GM will have to fix ?

  12. Subban has the potential to be a very good player, but franchise player? I don’t think so. Plus he has a tremendous amount of maturing to do and has shown no signs that he understands that.

  13. the rangers should try to get prospal back he played very well with gaborik and he has in the past played great with richards would be a great playoff fit sather should never have let him walk

  14. Why would the Kings even contemplate moving Kopitar when what they need the most is goals? I think Doughty’s contract makes him un-moveable for the moment due to his contract, unless something works between teams cap wise. I agree with Durt 100% on this one, I think Mo needs to pay better attention.

    And to the Gauthier bashers…If you look at his moves to date, are they that bad?
    Acquired Bourque for Cammeltoe. At first glance, fail by Gauthier. When you actually look deeper, Bourque has put up better #’s over the span of three years and is bigger and grittier than Cammel.
    Traded Spacek for Kaberle…Not a Kaberle fan and I was surprised to see Montreal take on that extra salary, but in reality those two trades put them in roughly the same financial position they were in prior to making those trades. The only negative is the length on Rosie-Cheeks contract as at this point of his career he is roughly worth what he’s making if you’re comparing him in the market.
    Not saying I would’ve acquired Kaberle myself if I were the GM, but in hind-sight, these moves look bad at first look, but they’re not that bad.
    And no, I’m not a Habs fan

  15. @ Chris…solid idea….Prospal would be a great addition to any playoff contending team, although he would especially be great for the Rangers.

  16. @McHurt: “why are you implying I said the Kings would swap Kopitar or Doughty for Suban?”

    I might have misunderstood thanks to MoLeafs post directly beneath you. I apologize.

    @Dabroons: Agree on the maturing, hence the word “POTENTIAL” before franchise player. You cannot dismiss a player’s importance to his franchise based on the fact that you may not like him or don’t think he is as skilled as _____________(insert player). PMDs are not exactly dime-a-dozen.

  17. wonder if burke has thought of trading kessel kadri and schenn and a pick for perry and ryan

  18. 36CRAZYFISTS – for me, the Kaberle trade was a poor one. On top of the length of contract (a contract most pundits called “untradeable”), the Habs seem to lack fire and determination and grit this year. Kaberle is the opposite of all that. He’s a skilled player, but 3 more expensive years of his play when we could have just gotten draft picks & cap space for Spacek would have been a better move.

    And in both the Cammalleri and Halak trades, GMs from other teams noted they had no idea the guys were on the market. For Halak – a VERY hot commodity when we traded him – we got a good prospect and a bad prospect. I can’t believe we couldn’t have gotten a good prospect and a proven NHLer for a hot starting goalie. No matter how good Eller ends up being, I believe a good GM could have gotten more for Halak. (Eller + Berglund at the time seemed entirely plausible, especially with St. Louis’ depth at forward)

    I think Gauthier rushes into his trades and doesn’t get best value, which ultimately hurts the team badly. Oh, and he has one of the worst drafting records in the history of the NHL, I’d imagine. (14 NHL games played TOTAL from his last 30 draft picks! Ugh…)

  19. Okay, I’m not a Habs fan by any means .. and to be completely honest; I can’t F’ing stand them. But I like what Gauthier has been doing with a team that was pretty much assembled before he got there. He’s added more size and grit than they’ve had in years with guys like Cole and Bourque. It’s a commonly known fact for a team to have an affective offence in the NHL, you must have big bodied wingers, that go hard to the net and stay there. The small and speedy forward concept (Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri) that was implemented by Gainey worked for a year or two, but has now crashed to the ground. Would I have made the Kaberle trade? No way! But he needed to do something to try and correct or fix a very very bad PP, so he acquired the best puck moving dman he could get his hands on. I guess I’d cut him some slack and see what he does and what direction the team goes in next year. But I’m confident you’ll see him add more size on the wings.

  20. with Subban an RFA end of season if Mtl has any inclination that he is going to be asking for absurd money it might be time to move him. If they do then they should covet a top d-man in return. Given what Doughty got in salary / contract vs. what he had given back the Habs may be getting nervous ( not saying Subban is worthy of Doughty money but it will be a big increase from what he gets paid today ) . Adding Price in the same RFA boat the Canadiens could be in for some tough negotiations.

    What about a Subban, Plekanec, Kostitsyn, Palushaj for Weber & Hornqvist type deal ? The Habs can’t count on Markov ever being what he was a couple years back. They need a work horse on the back end.

  21. Antoine Vermette: If I had the cap room and had to fill a center spot on my roster, I’d seriously consider acquiring him. He is one of the best faceoff guys in the league and is constantly in the top 5-10 in percentages and total faceoffs taken. I think his worst year was about 53%. And that may have been his first year, not sure.

    Is $3.75 too much for a quality faceoff guy that can skate like the wind and contribute offensively? Probably, but if you know anything about puck possession, it starts with winning the draw. Quite a few goals in the NHL come from winning the faceoff and during the playoffs, it’s even more important to win those draws. When you lose a faceoff during a PP, it knocks about 20+ seconds off the clock. A team that has PP woes, like Montreal, could really use this guy.

  22. Crazyfists I agree with you on the Halak trade, i think montreal could and should of gotten more for him. One way I think we will see if they could have is to watch this summer with all the young goalies that will be avaliable and what they get in a trade. None of them will have carried there team to a conference final but it should be some kind of comparable.

  23. @ firewilson, I think you are partially right. However, as in the past I believe Burke will be doing a bit of both, that is buying and selling at the same time. He always seems to get what he wants and gets rid of what he doesn’t want. He makes very few straight across trades.
    There is absolutely no way Montreal gets either Doughty or Kopitar as both will be deemed untouchable. Not to say anyone did, but to compare Subban to Doughty is ludicrous. The only thing Subban has proved is he may have some potential and is an immature obnoxious brat. Its hard to gauge his progress as he has had to fill in for other more talented players, but I think he should be doing much better than he has been doing.
    @ moto, are you nuts, MacArthur and Grabovski for Stoll. I wouldn’t give either of those guys straight up for Stoll. Well maybe MacArthur.
    Prospal is a good player and would fit well on many teams, especially the rangers but I’m not sure if I was Sather I would want to mess much with team chemistry. The Rangers are on a roll and to mess with the team now might have adverse results.
    I am not a habs fan either, I am in the same boat as Poutsy. I have really hated that club my whole life. The habs GM has had a lot of issues to deal with(injuries, poor play, poor attitude). However I don’t feel sorry for them one bit and I hope it continues for years to come. Then maybe they will know what leafs fans(most loyal in the world) have had to deal with for years. Sit back and enjoy the reversal in fortunes.

  24. Not that it’s a huge need, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the Wings pick up Vermette so that Zetterberg can go back to the wing. Z is not that great at winning draws.

  25. LMAO @ James .. don’t hold back brother .. tell us how you really feel about the Habs?

  26. I will be the LA-MTL scoutting includes Penner. He may not be elite, but he has that size MTL needs.

  27. @ ryan – why on earth would Burke want to trade Kessel now?

    @ Liddy5 – I disagree. Sure he is not that great on draws, but they could always move filppula to center for the draw. I don’t want them to trade for Vermette. I would much rather see them go after someone like Ruutu, Selanne, or even Roy.

  28. Unless cap geek is incorrect, Kessel, Komisarek, Lupul, Connolly,Lupul, Liles and Schenn all have no trade or no movement clauses in their contracts, and would have to waive them. Burke has always said he respects the terms of those agreements. Although he may be loathe to ask directly, he may do so indirectly as he did with Kaberle ( “I will not ask him to waive it”, which translated from Hockeyspeak means “I hope he gets the hint that we want him to leave”). Having said that, I do not believe he is overly anxious to trade any of the names mentioned above., although he would most likely be open to moving Connolly Liles, or Schenn if the right deal came along and they agreed to waive their NTC / NMC

  29. @James, who said, “but to compare Subban to Doughty is ludicrous. The only thing Subban has proved is he may have some potential and is an immature obnoxious brat.”.

    Sure, a 22 year old d-man that is well on his way to back to back 35-40 point seasons who plays on a team that struggles to score has proven nothing…The kid is playing waaaaay to any minutes because of injuries and is still learning the game at the pro level…Just another generic Subban basher with absolutely no grounds to base his argument on rather than hate..

    Subban was the reason the Titanic sank..Did you know that?

  30. Boy,a lot of you guys must be in my fantasy hockey league.
    those same offers suggested today are the same ones getting tossed around in my league.
    since they are being rejected there i am pretty sure non will happen in the real NHL.

    i would like to see Burke pull another rabbit out of his hat but from all reports of what is out there and the asking prices i have a very hard time seeing him pull one out.

    it just looks too tough out there this year,could be a very poor deadline day with only spare parts moving around.
    nerves,cap issues and cba issues will only add to the GM’s being extra careful this year.

  31. Why has Doughty been mentioned and not Jack Johnson? Does a Johnson/Subban trade seem unlikely? Only because of the cap issues the Habs are currently dealing with.

    Anyone have a run down on Lars Eller for a guy watching hockey in the West? Great size and he’s still young.

  32. Lyle,

    Just wanted to ask this question- how much do you think P.K. Subban would be worth if any team is to acquire him at the deadline?

  33. I agree with Spector that Subban is being played in a role he is not ready for — due to injuries to the defense. He will be a good defenseman in the future.. very hard to play against… you don’t give up promising youth..

  34. I am just curious. Which team would be willing to pay a high price to acquire Subban?

    Unless they are delusional and see him as more that what he is, or are trading pieces for him and he is the best player involved, it seems like a risky buy.

    He is more of a guy you hope develops into the kind of defenseman a team would actively pursue acquiring….

  35. Ok to all u guys talking bout kopiter for Subban you guys are dreaming or Montreal really doesn’t have any Hockey sense Kopiter for Subban Really ??? LMAO that’s funny not even on the same skill level Kopiter is one of the Elite centers in the NHL, Subban is just a Defenceman thats it nothing special bout him at all, if the kings are interested it would be stoll and voynov for Subban and Kostitsyn that’s all

  36. No to mention moleafs, that if Subban really did go to LA and if he really does turn over pucks like pancakes, than Dustin Penner would get injured every game trying to eat them

  37. You’re right Lyle the Habs should try to build around guys like Subban…but with a GM like Gauthier he could also trade him for 2 expiring contracts which would be hilarious if he did……I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  38. No1Duckfan I believe Subban to be worth a 1st rounder and a prospect.

  39. If anything.. I’m sure PG is going around checking out players that may be offered for players from our season sell off (Moen, AK47 etc).

    While I doubt he’s shopping PK, as any manager should, he would listen to offers and if it’s one that would improve his team, he should consider it.

  40. Subban will not be a shut down defenceman. You have to be willing to take the body. On the offensive side many of his turnovers are the result not taking a hit to make a pass, or the potential of being hit, basically he rushes too much to move the puck. Good players may try to avoid the hit but this guy shies away.
    Maybe he’s the next Cammaleri, arguing with Ladouceur vs. the Pens over his no-look turnover and goal, and again today at practice taking more heat from the asst. At best he may get a 2nd rd. pick but more likely a current d-man and a 3rd.

  41. On behave of the Edmonton oilers I offer to you Montreal every player with have except our three young stars and Ryan smyth, for subban and price. You can have everyone else, eager with size, Magnus with speed, Omark with spins, sutton with hits. Even khabby will a game out his ass once a month. Deal?

  42. I now understand why rumours go viral. I started off by saying the Habs WONT be able to pry Doughty or Kopitar out of LA for Suban, and immediately one person misunderstood me. I tried to clear it up, but anytime Kopitar, Doughty and Suban are mentioned in a post (regardless of context) people automatically think it’s a proposed deal. Honestly, reading everybodies comments regarding this issue has lead me to believe that only a handfull of people actually read someones entire post. This is getting radiculous. For the last freaking time NOBODY SAID MONTREAL WILL GET DOUGHTY OR KOPITAR!!!!!

  43. Poultsy | Tuesday, 24 January 2012 at 5:01 pm

    ”Antoine Vermette: If I had the cap room and had to fill a center spot on my roster, I’d seriously consider acquiring him. He is one of the best faceoff guys in the league and is constantly in the top 5-10 in percentages and total faceoffs taken. I think his worst year was about 53%. And that may have been his first year, not sure.

    Is $3.75 too much for a quality faceoff guy that can skate like the wind and contribute offensively? Probably, but if you know anything about puck possession, it starts with winning the draw. Quite a few goals in the NHL come from winning the faceoff and during the playoffs, it’s even more important to win those draws. When you lose a faceoff during a PP, it knocks about 20+ seconds off the clock. A team that has PP woes, like Montreal, could really use this guy.”

    I totally agree, Poultsy

  44. Oilersfan | Tuesday, 24 January 2012 at 10:21 pm

    ”On behave of the Edmonton oilers I offer to you Montreal every player with have except our three young stars and Ryan smyth, for subban and price. You can have everyone else, eager with size, Magnus with speed, Omark with spins, sutton with hits. Even khabby will a game out his ass once a month. Deal?”

    Thanks, but no thanks. If you want me to include Price in the deal.Your going to offer me a goalie also, as much as Iike Ryan Smythe,you would have to do better, to get Subban and Price.

  45. @deuce 6, don’t you think Subban has brought about the hate by his actions. I did say he was put in to many situations that he shouldn’t be and also said he had potential, but I guess your love for the guy and my dislike made you blind.

  46. As was said, Gauthier is most liekly scouting Penner. Subban will not be going anywhere and is struggling for the reasons Spector mentioned, IMO.
    Gauthier has been doing better than he has been given credit for. People seem to forget Cammy has a LNTC. My guess is that only Bourque met the requirements, namely size, salary less than Cammy, available, the numbers and KY TO ALL was part of a team that Cammy would accept a trade to. All reports on Cammy after he left indicate he was the type to veto any trades he did not like.

    As for the Kaberle trade, that should have inc;uded Carolina’s 2nd for taking on the extra years of salary and the fact that Spacek could fetch the Canes a 3rd at the deadline.

    I agree totally that Halak should have been shopped to everybody and get the highest return…although Eller was a great pick-up.

  47. Wow habs haters are really out in force, must be cause for once there not doing too good, heck no team can compete year in year out for ages, well maybe detroit can.

    Subban is still growing and becoming a better player, i wouldent want him traded unless its a steal for the habs.

    Oh i like the made up comments that subban is evil lol, only the media and haters can make these one up…

    Thanks for the laughs

  48. I would trade Subban for a guy like Skinner or Duchene. But I believe what Montreal needs is PK to reach his potential.

  49. I know he signs the cheques but I wish Melnyk would shut the hell up in regards to hockey operations. Its really not his call, that’s what he hired a GM for. Let him do his job and make any decisions in regards to what direction the team will take. He should stick to peddling his pharmaceuticals and leave the hockey business up to the hockey minds.

  50. @gravitymike said, “Subban will not be a shut down defenceman. You have to be willing to take the body”

    I think you need to watch more Habs games.lol

    Watch:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwVFX-N3YSE

    @LAKINGS88: Try and keep up..Nobody is saying we should trade PK for Kopitar..

  51. Just on instinct here but i think the leafs are going to aquire getzlaf. Perry would follow in a year as a free agent. That would fit into the time frame of the leafs being a serious threat. I think the ducks are ready for a change. Just a feeling here. I mean the same i guess could be said of the blue jackets and nash but they just aquired carter to play with nash and i cant see them ready to give up on that. Burke is half way done in his rebuild. His final product will be complete in 2 years. Everything is on schedule. For all intent and purposes this present team is in the development stage. Hopefully getting into the playoffs this year where kessel, schenn, franson, gardnier can gain some experiance. This is the core going forward with maybe the inclusion of lupul, and phaneuf. This of coarse is just a theory.Just a gut feeling.

  52. amazing how the Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan rumors won’t go away , just a year ago they were a top 3 trio in the league. I guess it’s normal when good players on bad teams hit the skids the sharks start circling. It would be a shame to see them broken up but if it means for the long term good of the team …..and every team and fan would want any one of this guys on their squad

  53. I love how people love to lay blame on the GM’s. As a Habs fan,I am not that happy with Gauthier, but to say that he is the problem with the team is ludicrous. The habs have the same talent base as last season and the year before but have floundered. Is that Gauthier’s fault? Last I saw Gauthier was not on the PP that couldn’t net a puck. As far as Subban goes, all the haters clearly haven’t watched the boy play. Does he cause turnovers and pinch when he shouldn’t? Yes. But he is early twentys. Love the leaf fans who bash him, who are the same people who put Schenn et al on a pedestal, then defend when they have slumps. The habs have the base to be competitive but it just hasn’t come together this year.

  54. @ swack we leafs and habs fans have about the same amount of trouble makers that post nasty and rediculous comments. Its almost a national past-time with elements of each fan-base taunting each other. Some guys just post or make remarks to get a rise out of someone. Sometimes i even wonder if some of these guys are hockey fans. You should see the war that goes on at my lunch room at work. And i am sure at other work places as well. I remember a guy brought in his birthday cake that was in the form of the emblem of the leafs. He would not share it with any habs fans and for that matter any leaf fan that had ever said any thing remotely negitive about the leafs. LOL