As we mentioned before, since there is no Blues hockey to watch this week we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the prospective trades that the Blues may have interest in heading up to this season’s trade deadline.
It is also important to remember that when we are evaluating these potential trades we are doing so from a purely speculative stance. We have no knowledge of the inner workings of the Blues nor do we have any knowledge of the ideologies of the GM that would be sitting across the table. So when we discuss specific players that would be involved in these potential trades we are naming names just to put a face with the position. It is better if, when we say Vince Dunn, you think “high level defensive prospect” or if we say Vladimir Sobotka you think “bottom six forward with sizable cap hit”. Try to think of these trades in general terms and not specific players (except for the player who is the focal point of the article).
In the previous post we reviewed the possibility of the Blues acquiring Evander Kane. This time we are going to take a look at what we think might entice the Montreal Canadiens to part ways with top line winger Max Pacioretty.
While the Kane deal is probably one of our least favorite possibilities, Max Pacioretty is one of the prospective trades that some of us here at Game Time covet the most.
According to hockey-reference.com Pacioretty was picked 22nd overall by the Canadiens in the 2007 draft.
It took a few years for his talent to blossom but since his third year in the league Pacioretty has consistently been a 30 goal, 60 point per season player.
Unfortunately, much like every other Canadien, Pacioretty has had a rather unimpressive season. In 42 games the Canadiens captain has managed only 10 goals and 13 assists. But despite his recent downturn he still leads the team in points, is third in total goals and third in assists.
As of right now Montreal is six points out of the second wildcard spot and has about a ten percent chance of making the playoffs. Which has led the Canadiens front office to entertain the idea of parting ways with the veteran left-winger who according to capfriendly.com still has one year left on his $4.5 million per year deal.
Unlike Evander Kane, if the Blues were to pursue Pacioretty they would be obtaining a gifted goal scorer who could be something more than a mere rental. At 6’2” and 206 pounds he is essentially the same size as Kane yet he has tallied 17 more goals and a whopping 36 more assists over the last two seasons. And he is $750,000 cheaper to boot.
So what is it going to take to make Max Pacioretty a Blue?
While it appears that a lack of offense would be the Canadiens biggest focus some believe that a lack of quality defenseman is more to blame for the team’s recent problems.
Luckily the Blues have some of those in stock.
Of course the Canadiens first ask is going to be Colton Parayko, the first ask is always Parayko. However, while the young defenseman may be on everyone’s wish list, they all understand that he is about as off-limits as a player can get.
If we are to assume that the Canadiens would want a defender who both allows them to pretend like they are still competing for a playoff spot while giving them something solid to build on for the future then we are probably talking about either Carl Gunnarsson or Joel Edmundson.
In terms of money Gunnarsson is the one the Blues are going to be selling the hardest. His $2.9 million would cover what the Blues need to clear in order to have a shot at affording Pacioretty and his deal still has one year remaining on it so the receiving team would be confident that they will have his services for at least another season.
However, if we are talking in terms of talent and potential then Edmundson is the clear winner. Plus he has grit and you know how much the Canadiens value that grit (see Shea Weber for P.K. Subban). However, since he is only making a cool million dollars this season the Canadiens would have to agree to taking on another more expensive and probably less talented player as well so that the Blues could clear the necessary cap space. Probably either Vladimir Sobotka or Patrik Berglund. Also Edmundson is set to become a RFA after this season so if a team were to acquire him they would immediately have to start working on some kind of extension.
I would assume if the Canadiens were to take Gunnarsson then they would also be asking for one of the Blues young offensive prospects as well, like Canada’s own Jordan Kyrou, because you can’t trade a 30 goalscorer for... Carl Gunnarsson and walk away feeling good about yourself.
So it is either Carl Gunnarsson and a prospect (most likely Jordan Kyrou) or Joel Edmundson and Vladimir Sobotka plus maybe a draft pick for Max Pacioretty.
Either way I believe this is definitely a trade worth making. The Blues are loaded in prospective talent and in left handed defenseman. If you can trade an unproven talent as well as a defenseman that you would have no trouble replacing for a proven offensive talent like Pacioretty then you take that deal and run.
Or if you can trade Vladimir Sobotka for Max Pacioretty and all you have to give up is Joel Edmundson plus a second or third round pick, then you do it without thinking twice.
Doug Armstrong, you have our permission to go get it done. Don’t disappoint us.