A list of five possible trade targets for the Montreal Canadiens, plus a suggested backup goalie option for the Florida Panthers.
Five trade candidates for the Canadiens.
LA PRESSE: Marc Antoine Godin listed Arizona Coyotes right wing Mikkel Boedker, Winnipeg Jets left winger Andrew Ladd, Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler, Vancouver Canucks winger Radim Vrbata and Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen as suggested trade candidates who could boost the Montreal Canadiens sagging offense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Godin lists the pros and cons of each, noting Boedker’s somewhat frail physique, Ladd’s partial no-trade clause, Hudler’s defensive record, Vrbata’s age and Johansen’s salary among the cons. Of the three, I’d say pending UFAs Boedker and Vrbata stand the best chance of being available in the New Year. Boedker could be dealt if he and the Coyotes fail to work out a new contract before the Feb. 29 trade deadline, while the Canucks could shop Vrbata if they fall out of playoff contention.
I don’t believe the Jets wish to move Ladd. With the Flames improving, they’re likely reluctant to part with Hudler. Johansen would be a great fit on the Habs, but they’ll have to shed salary to take on his $4 million cap hit, plus the asking price is likely too expensive for Habs GM Marc Bergevin.
None of these players, however, will be available before January, and the Canadiens need offensive help right away. The current NHL trade freeze ends at midnight on Dec. 27.
Could the Panthers pursue Talbot?
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks claims the Florida Panthers attempted to acquire goaltender Cam Talbot from the New York Rangers last summer prior to his trade to the Edmonton Oilers. He believes it wouldn’t be surprising if the Panthers “made another run at the current Edmonton back-up in order to bolster their netminding (Al Montoya is Roberto Luongo’s understudy) for a run at the playoffs.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Actually, I’ll be quite surprised if the Panthers make that move. Montoya has far better stats this season than the struggling Talbot. A recent report in the Miami Herald praised the Panthers current goalie tandem, with head coach Gerard Gallant singing their praises.