Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames.
Having just reacquired Michael Ryder for a slumping Erik Cole, the first-place Montreal Canadiens just might be in the midst of preparing for a long playoff run. It could quite possibly be the first deal of several for the Habs over the course of this shortened season.
Considering Ryder (6’0”, 198 lbs) gives up a few inches and roughly 10 pounds to Cole (6’2”, 210 lbs), the Habs may be looking to replace what they lost in the deal (size I mean, and not the apparent disgruntlement of a player who was considering retirement at the end of the year anyway as a result of the new, supposedly unfair collective bargaining agreement).
With that, here are five trade targets the Habs could potentially pursue from now until the trade deadline on April 3:
If you haven’t heard the name of rookie Patrick Bordeleau before, I’d say you’re about to, but, truth be told, even his Colorado Avalanche fanbase rarely does. The 26-year-old rookie’s name has been called out on the PA system a single time with just one assist in 19 career games (all played this year, with the Avs).
However what Bordeleau lacks in skill, experience and ice time, he makes up for in size and belligerence. The 6’6”, 225-pound winger would potentially be the biggest Hab since Georges Laraque (6’4”, 245 lbs), and we all know how well that turned out (it didn’t).
If you are worried about the potential of the Habs hypothetically needing to eventually buy out the rookie like they did Laraque, don’t be. Bordeleau will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of year and makes just $525,000 or $62,500 in the American Hockey League.
Needless to say, it’s a far cry from the one-way, three-year, $4.5 million deal someone thought Laraque needed way back when.
While the Habs do the have the likes of Ryan White and Brandon Prust, both of whom are willing to drop the gloves at the drop of a hat, Bordeleau would be nice addition to flaunt from the bench to intimidate opponents in the same vein as a Derek Boogaard (RIP).
Oh, yeah, and he’s from Montreal, which doesn’t hurt (at least not as much as being punched by him anyway).
Jason Chimera of the Washington Capitals.
Like the Avalanche, the Washington Capitals are in the throes of a piss-poor season, and they could very likely be sellers at the deadline. The Habs, who were kind enough to let Washington take Roman Hamrlik off their hands, could very well be the beneficiaries of such a fire sale.
Jason Chimera, whose last name is the same as a mythological, three-headed, fire-breathing beast, is 6’3” and 213 pounds and is a triple threat in his own right. In addition to his size, he can score (having potted 20 last year) and is relatively cheap (in the inexpensive sense at least; not really in a position to comment on whether he’s frugal too).
Chimera recently signed a two-year deal that pays him an average of $1.75 million, which is pretty good for a guy who has scored at least 14 goals in five seasons.
However, should the Capitals fall victim to rationality and only look to get rid of soon-to-be UFAs, once-25-point-scorer Matt Hendricks (6’0”, 211 lbs, $825,000) could also be worth pursuing. Consider him a poor man’s Chimera (and a really poor man’s Jimi Hendrix).
And if Hendricks falls through, there’s always the 6’2”, 206-pound Hamrlik, who’s a poor man’s Tomas Kaberle at this stage of his career, but, then again, the Habs already have one of those they’re looking to get rid of.
Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames.
It admittedly won’t be easy or even likely for that matter, considering Jarome Iginla’s illogical need to seemingly stay with the Calgary Flames the length of his career.
However, if Jarome Iginla is available, the Canadiens should jump on the soon-to-be UFA as fast as possible to quickly smother whatever misguided loyalty he might have left to such an ill-managed organization that as recently as last week almost gave up two draft picks to the division-rival Avalanche for nothing.
The 6’1”, 210-pound winger might be on the downside of his career, but that doesn’t change the fact that he can still be effective and has scored at least 30 goals in 11 consecutive seasons. Taking into account his experience, he would be a welcome addition to the Habs and admittedly just about any other team that could use a big, tough, skilled winger that can put the puck in the net.
Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres.
The Buffalo Sabres may not willingly give up Tyler Myers to the Canadiens, with the two teams being in the same division and all, but that doesn’t mean the Habs can’t try.
It also doesn’t mean the Sabres aren’t willing to part ways with the towering 6’8” blue-liner who has toppled back down to Earth since winning the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2010.
Signed to a seven-year, $38.5 million deal, Myers hasn’t lived up to expectations this year (three goals and one assist in 19 games) or any of the past few, really.
While it’s true you can only build a skyscraper so high, Myers was nonetheless supposed to build on the success of his rookie season and not regress to the point of becoming the next Marek Malik (without the nice shootout goal). That being said, though, it’s quite possible all Myers needs is a change of scenery to regain some of that lightning he captured in a bottle once upon a time.
Putting together a worthwhile package for a potential franchise defenseman who’s overpaid and underachieving would not be hard to do from Montreal’s perspective. I mean, just look at what Montreal got for Ryan McDonagh (who’s actually playing well).
When Habs general manager Marc Bergevin reportedly shied away from Jaromir Jagr’s interest to join the team this past offseason, it admittedly didn’t make much sense to sign the superstar winger. Montreal was in rebuilding mode and looking to give more time to rookies moving forward.
However, times change, and the Habs are in a race for first place in the Eastern Conference nearly halfway through the shortened 48-game season. Not only would acquiring Jagr provide depth and size (6’3”, 240 lbs) on the wing, but it could provide a spark to Tomas Plekanec’s game.
While Jagr may not always play like he’s as big as he is, his success playing with Plekanec during the lockout for Rytiri Kladno has been well documented (Jagr: 24 goals and 33 assists in 34 games and Plekanec: 21 goals and 25 assists in 32 games). It’s only logical to assume the two would develop instant chemistry playing on the same line.
The Dallas Stars, with whom Jagr ended up, are also within reach of a playoff spot, but it’s hard to imagine Montreal not being able to sway general manager Joe Nieuwendyk to make just one more deal with the Habs that would benefit both teams equally (or so the Habs would have him believe again).