An Awful Lot of Talk Surrounds the Oilers and Canadiens

Jim ParsonsContributor IOctober 26, 2009

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 1:  Andrei Kostitsyn #46 of the Montreal Canadiens waits for a faceoff in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 1, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Canadiens dfeated the Leafs 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

With rumors swirling that Assistant GM Kevin Prendergast has been spotted at a few Montreal games, speculation quickly grew about Edmonton making a trade with the Canadiens and that Prendergast had his eyes on something.

Immediately the rumor gained a bit more street credibility when Brian Wilde, over at a CTV affiliate in Montreal posted the story and fans jumped on board as if something was bound to happen. Here's what we've heard.

The latest word revolves around the Canadiens asking for a forward, a prospect, and a defencemen in return for both of the Kostitsyn brothers.

No official word has come about the pedigree of any of the positions the Canadiens might be asking for, or if for certain it is the Kostitsyn's the Oilers are checking out, but that trade rumours surround mostly forward Andrei, with his brother Sergei as a throw in.

From what we're understanding, the Canadiens are not too keen on the fact that Andrei would continue to enjoy his role in Montreal if his brother were shipped off and the Canadiens question keeping Sergei on as part of the team considering his repeated disruption in the organization.

In short, if Montreal can find a return that is even worthy of moving Andrei Kostitsyn, they'll take the opportunity to do so, knowing that with it, goes his brother.

The Oilers involvement has centered around two positions of thought. One is that they are still in a position that moving contracts is important.

What that means, is that a three-for-two or four-for-two deal makes sense if they can shore up money and roster space to make other moves, while removing pieces they'll likely never use.

The other frame of thought is that Gagner has some experience playing with Sergei Kostitsyn, when the two formed a line with Patrick Kane for the London Knights of the OHL.

At that time, Kostitsyn was an alternate captain and didn't carry the reputation he seems to have built for himself in the NHL.

Some are suggesting that perhaps reuniting Sergei and Sam could make Sergei Kostitsyn a more valuable pick-up at the right deal, while Andrei has proven to be a more reliable and valuable player and goal scorer.

It doesn't hurt matters that if his behaviour continues, that of the two Kostitsyn's, Sergei's is the contract that ends at the end of this season.

For me, the option of Tomas Plekanec is much more appealing and I'd prefer the idea to a three-for-one trade over a two-for-one deal, but something has to be said for the Oilers and Canadiens both wanting to move spare parts.

As of now, we've heard no indication that offers or any kind of serious talks have taken place beyond what might be considered normal phone calls amongst NHL GM's. Take any rumours regarding this with a grain of salt.

I believe the Oilers are more interested in seeing where the team sits when they have a healthy roster, since most injuries and illnesses are temporary, with the exception of Sheldon Souray who could be out another three weeks.

Consider too, that Andrei Kostitsyn's $3.25 million cap hit is sizeable and requires more than just a "here you go" attitude. The Oilers, or for that matter, any team considering this kind of move would have to consider how to arrange it under a much tighter salary cap.