Curtis Sanford To Montreal: Precursor to a Major Move

----- -----------Correspondent IJuly 20, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 17: Curtis Sanford #41 of the Vancouver Canucks keeps his eye on the puck in front of his net while Dustin Penner #27 of the Edmonton Oilers battles for it against Sami Salo #6 of the Vancouver Canucks during the game at General Motors Place on December 17, 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.   (Photo by Nick Didlick/Getty Images)

All day today, all sources pointed to the Habs being involved in a three way trade with a couple of teams all surrounding the never ending drama that is Dany Heatley. 

I dismissed it all as rumors, conjecture and/or speculation with no merit or fact behind it. The latest move by the Habs makes me think differently.

If you live in Montreal, you know the saga already. Price and Halak, battling for the starting position. Halak seemed to not get his rightful shot in Montreal, with too much weight behind the conception that Carey Price will carry this team to a new height. 

Last season, as Price's play strayed from the straight line we all thought he would measure up to, Halak stepped in and played extremely well, especially towards the end of the season.

Some called for Halak to start in the playoffs. Some said Halak wanted out when he wasn't given a shot he thought he had earned by that point. 

This latest piece of news makes me thing something big is about to go down in a town where hockey is important as air to its citizens.

Montreal had signed goaltender Curtis Sanford from Vancouver. No numbers have been announced yet; Sanford made $650,000 last year. What is more important then his previous cap hit was his play; 2.69 goals-against average over 35 regular season games with a .903 save percentage.

So what, you might ask? I think this acquisition makes room to potentially drift Halak out of town, giving him a shot in a city where he will have a greater shot at a starting position. In other words, signing Sanford makes Halak trade bait.

The word is this makes way for a three-way trade with San Jose and Ottawa, potentially setting ground for Heatley to the sharks and Marleau to the Canadiens.

With cap space very tight in San Jose, rumors of Heatley going to Edmonton brewing again and the numerous moves by the Canadiens mark these words—something is about to go down in the NHL.