The Montreal Canadiens have traded defenceman Ryan O'Byrne to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Michael Bournival.
O'Byrne played three games for the Montreal Canadiens this season, averaging 15 minutes per game. He also had four penalty minutes. This is just a depth player and nothing more really.
Michael Bournival, on the other hand, is the 12th best prospect on the Colorado Avalanche according to Hockeysfuture.com. He supposedly has excellent work ethic even though his skills are not quite as high as other prospects. He is projected to be a third line forward with the ability to play on the second line.
There had been rumours for a while that the Canadiens may move a defenceman as they have too many. By dealing O'Byrne they get back $1.4 million in cap space which was being wasted because O'Byrne was benched for most of the season.
My analysis of this trade says Montreal wins here in the short term. They gained the cap space and a hard working prospect. The only problem with this trade for Montreal is that O'Byrne is an RFA and so they may have been able to sign him cheaply.
Also, this is another short forward and Montreal has an abundance of them. While playing in the same division as Zdeno Chara, this could be a very bad idea. However, the benefits outweigh the cost.
As for Colorado, they did what they thought was right. I just would not feel right getting rid of a player who worked hard even though his skill set may not be that great for a player who has a low skill set as well, but may not work as hard.
Hopefully this opens the floodgates for trades. As Brian Burke said last year when acquiring Dion Phaneuf, "This is what makes our business exciting." He was right and I hope that a lot of trades are consummated soon, or at least before the holiday roster freeze.