Who Are The Canadiens Targeting In Big Trade Rumor? Toews? Seguin?
The rumors of the Canadiens looking to acquire a top 6 Center is not new, but our own Eklund’s latest rumor seemed to really stoke the fires while appearing to pin down a potential trade partner for the Habs.
The rumor is that the Canadiens are working overtime to make a big deal with a team in the Central Division for a top end Center. The deal would apparently include a player from the Canadiens that would have been otherwise untouchable.
Well, I’m not sure there are many untouchables on the roster outside of Price, Weber, Gallager, and Drouin. I don’t see one of these players being on the move but I could see someone like Pacioretty or Galchneyuk moved. I have foretold the trading of Pacioretty a couple times now and I believe it will happen due to contract/age reasons, but I really don’t want to see Galchenyuk moved at all.
Montreal’s wing situation looks like this: Pacioretty, Drouin (could be moved back to natural position with addition of a proper C), Galchenyuk, Gallagher, Byron, Hudon, Lehkonen, Scherbak, and one of Zadina or Svechnikov (after the draft of course). These are all top 6-9 wingers and the ones near the low end of the depth chart could develop into top 6 or are simply pushed out due to the first 4 I listed.
Something has to give on the wing in that there will be at least one moved and the one moved will likely be Captain Max Pacioretty as he (and maybe a later 2nd rd pick) could land quite a haul from a team looking for a scoring winger.
So who in the Central could be available?
That’s the big question and one that has two somewhat obvious answers….
Is Nashville trading Johansen or Turris? They aren’t the strongest C’s and their play is driven mainly by Forsberg and Arvidsson, but I doubt they are available.
Is Winnipeg trading Scheifele? BAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No….
Is Minnesota trading Staal or Koivu? The probably could, but I would rather get Eriksson Ek or Greenway…. Don’t see this fit though.
Colorado isn’t dealing MacKinnon, Kerfoot, or Jost either.
Can’t see St. Louis dealing Schenn after the season he had even if I don’t think he will repeat the same production.
That leaves the two that make the most sense to me: Chicago’s J Toews and Dallas’s T Seguin.
Now, after you roll your eyes enough, allow me to expain.
In Chicago you have a team built around a core of Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook, and Crawford. You also have a team that has paid all of these guys handsomely until they are close to 40.
The Blackhawks have 16 players signed for next year at $67.5 million in cap hits. The likelihood of the Hawks trading Keith at 34 years old with 5 years left at $5.5 per is low as its a decent little cap hit in todays NHL. But 33 year old Seabrook is carrying $6.8 per for another 6 seasons and was a mistake they won’t be able to deal until the end when they can eat enough salary for someone to give them anything for him late in his term.
Then you have the oft injured Crawford only on the hook for two more seasons at $6 mill per so he’s almost perfectly aligned for his future trade.
To me it seems like a big move from the dynasty core they had is coming starting with Crawford.
The last two are the big dogs. The heroes of the day. J Toews and P Kane.
Both players come with identical $10.5 mill per cap hits until 2023 and of those two Kane is clearly the better impact player as of today. J Toews point totals have declined over the last 5 years, but his PPG pace has remained around 0.8 PPG for 4 of the last 5 years except for this last season where it dropped to 0.7 PPG.
Chicago could be looking at Toews as a depreciating asset that will cost too much for the next 5 years and seeking a quick flip of the core. They have Schmaltz waiting in the wings for his shot and Anisimov should be able to handle 2nd line duties, if needed.
The Hawks have less depth at C in their prospect pool than the Canadiens right now and if the rumor is of the Blockbuster variety I’m thinking the name they want in return is A Galchenyuk. The Hawks will subsequently push him into 2nd line C and see if he and Kane, Saad, or Debrincat can find some chemistry.
The Hawks will have put a younger C with a higher point potential in place and rid themselves of one of their two big deals.
The Habs shouldn’t do that deal straight up but should the Hawks offer Toews and #8th overall for Galchenyuk and Chicago’s own 2nd back I (a Galchenyuk fan) would be hard pressed to turn it down. Toews would instantly give the Canadiens a Patrice Bergeron-like player with at least 5-6 good years left and the 8th overall could land one of Wahlstrom, Bouchard, Hughes, Kotkaniemi or Velano.
So would the split Canadiens fanbase be satisfied with Galchenyuk and a 2nd for Toews and Wahlstrom/Kotkaniemi/Hughes? You better be because it would be fantastic.
The other option would be to to somehow pry T Seguin out of Dallas…. How do I do that….
Ok, so Dallas is already locked into terrible deals for Hanzal ($4.7 per for 2 more seasons), Bishop (Shade under $5 per for 5 more seasons), Spezza ($7.5 per for 1 more season), and Radulov ($6.25 per for 4 more). Benn earns every penny of his $9.5 mill per so let’s not go there, but Seguin is paid like a 2nd liner at $5.75 mill per for one more season and is likely looking to double that at the age of 27 (and he will).
IF Dallas doesn’t want to pay Seguin more than Benn it could be possible that he is made available for a trade with Faksa developing well at C behind him. The target I think would be Galchenyuk again, who Dallas could lock in long term easily at $5-6 mill per, and who would also produce quite nicely lining up with a player like Benn. So Dallas would get a younger player with near identical potential production for half the cost, thus mitigating the trouble of the above mentioned contracts in the near and long term (Nill you sly dog).
Now, would Galchenyuk alone be enough to make this deal work? Likely not because of the crater size hole thats been at the Habs C position for years and with the media making that the biggest issue ever in the history of the world…. Whoops! Sorry, forgot that some can’t get over past trades…. The SECOND biggest issue relating to the Habs (now I’m rolling my eyes).
Something around Galchenyuk and a prospect or a couple 2nds should get that done IF Dallas is sold on Galchenyuk’s potential at Center because that would mean they WANT something and Bergevin isn’t selling them on something.
Admittedly, the Seguin idea requires some extra reasons for the deal going on behind the scenes on the Dallas side, but dammit I’ll talk about what I want to talk about. It could happen and if the key pieces are Galchenyuk and maybe a prospect winger or a few mid round picks then it very well could happen and Montreal would gladly hand Seguin his $11 mill per to come play with Drouin and Co.
The Chicago deal sounds much more reasonable to me and if either trade were to occur in the manner I’ve written then as much as it would pain me to see Galchenyuk go, I would be thrilled at the additions that would help even out the teams balance and give the team a legitimate 1st and 2nd line (Danault at #2 C, get over it).
It could help everyone get motivated for the next season again and could even allow Montreal to possibly retain Pacioretty….
Think about it…
Go Habs Go!