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Ottawa, ON • Canada •
It is the time for the rumour mill to pump out all kinds of possible trades. Some plausible, others, insane!

As a Hab fan, I really believe that they need to make more changes. I also think that winning against Detroit could be detrimental to them in the long run. Geoff Molson, as much as he says he is hands off and he lets the hockey people run the operation, needs to be involved and aware that the Habs, as they are built now, are not perennial contenders. Yes, they may make a great run and squeek into the playoffs, but that would only mask the fact that changes are needed.

I do not think that a full rebuild is necessary and as much as I would love to see Gauthier and Gainey gone, there are some positive moves that they have made. I think Gill and Gionta were good signings, but like most, not Gomez or Cammalleri. I think signing Diaz and Cole were good moves, but letting all those free agents go for nothing was a huge mistake, especially after giving up all those 2nd round picks to get them. Other GM's realize that 2nd round picks have become the "gold" of the NHL draft. Trading for Kaberle was a move that falls under insane. Who else would trade a player that they could have traded at the deadline for a mid to low pick or just let walk at the end of the season, for an underachieving, over paid, for another 2 seasons, player? That money could have been used in a much better way!!

Having said that, Gauthier and Gainey have done more things that have hurt the club than have helped and the 5 year plan did not work. The Habs need a progressive GM that will also speak to the fans and media, not run the operation like they are CSIS!

On to the players; Cammalleri is gone and has 1 goal and is minus 6 in 5 games with Calgary. Gauthier could probably have received more for him had he waited until closer to the trade deadline. Not that I am against Bourque, I thought the Habs should have gotten him at the time Calgary did. Patrick Holland may just prove to be a sleeper in the trade.

As well as the Habs have done getting 5 of a possible 6 points, the future is what they need to be looking at, not this season. They have some assets that would possibly fetch good picks or prospects from teams that are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. San Jose has injuries and are looking for depth players and possibly replacements for the injured players. L.A. would like more size and scoring form the wing, and Chicago really wants a 2nd line centre and depth defencemen.

First I will make my suggestions for realistic trade options and then I will give a crazy trade scenario that is pure fantasy but still makes sense

The trades That in my opinion make sense;
Plekanec to Chicago for Kyle Beach and a 3rd round pick

Nokelainen and Gill to San Jose for Nick Petrecki and a 3rd round pick.
( White will be back soon )

Kaberle anywhere for a 4th or 5th round pick, maybe a higher pick if a team gets desperate at the deadline.

Weber, Kostitsyn and a 2nd round pick to Columbus for Carter

Campoli for a 3rd round pick.

Gomez to Hamilton if no one will take him for 5th or 6th round pick.

Gionta for whatever they can get, even if they have to wait until the off season because of his injury.

I would keep Moen and resign him but if say LA offered a 2nd round pick or Tyler Toffoli

Pure Fantasy trades;

Kostitsyn and Moen to LA for Bernier

Price to New jersey for Parise and a 3rd round pick

Plekanec and Weber to Columbus for Carter

Nokelainen and Gill to San Jose for Petrecki and a 3rd round pick.

Campoli and a 3rd round pick for Kyle Beach

Kaberle anywhere for a 4th or 5th round pick, maybe a higher pick if a team gets desperate at the deadline.

Gomez to Hamilton if no one will take him for 5th or 6th round pick

Obviously the 2nd scenario is off the wall, but the first scenario is more realistic and would give the Habs cap space to resign Price and Subban and to go after some fill in free agents to compliment the young core that could now grow together and be strong for years. Contrary to most who say that there are no prospects in the Canadiens system, I think there are some very strong ones, especially on defence. Nash would probably be in Montreal now, then there are the obvious ones in Beaulieu and Tinordi. Greg Pateryn is one I think will open some eyes, big strong, responsible and a bit of a mean streak. Darren Dietz too!

Up front, Gallagher could be a Theo Fleury type, Quailer is having a bounce back year and has size at 6"4" Priebyl and Avetsin have lot's of skill, they just need some time and Nattinen is a big centre who is strong on faceoffs, which is something the Habs lack. He will probably be a 3rd line defensive centre. Of course LeBlanc will also factor in soon. Bournival may also make some noise.

All in all, it is fun to speculate. For all the weird and ridiculous stuff that has gone on this season under Gauthier, this is stil a team that can become a contender,under another GM's watchful eye and direction!!

With the sugested trades, which are only my opinion, not based on any rumours or insider information etc, the Habs would have a younger, more balanced team, enough picks to restock the cupboard and still end up with a fairly high first round pick this season. The trick is to draft better than they have been. They may not be a very good team for the rest of the season, but they would be headed in the right direction and of the new GM and Molson would convey their vision to the fans, I think they would be on board!
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