Habster:

Let’s play NHL general manager for a moment and discuss some potential rumours which have been floating around these days. One of the latest rumours that will start circulating after last night’s game will be a potential trade between the Oilers and Canadiens. According to the Gazette’s Red Fisher: “Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe was at the game last night while his Oilers were playing in St. Louis”, very intriguing to say the least!!!
There are some interesting elements to these two teams hooking up for a potential deal, let’s get into Mr. Lowe and Mr. Gainey’s thought process and consider which players are in play or who are the untouchables.
Canadiens probably have a few players who Gainey would be very hesitant to part with and may consider them “untouchables”: Price, Komisarek, Higgins, Markov and possibly Hamrlik beyond that everybody should be available including Saku Koivu (I can’t believe I wrote that but the team needs a shake up).
On the Oilers side, Kevin Lowe would love to add one or two established veteran players to help his very young and at the moment, struggling team get to the next level. Who are Lowe’s “untouchables” probably players like Horcoff, Cogliano, Penner( hard to trade due to his inflated salary), Souray(same problem as Penner), Gilbert, Hemsky(I’m not sure he isn’t in play though) and Gagner.
Unfortunately, both teams are struggling and don’t have a lot of depth but Bob Gainey will certainly be in the market for a solid first or second line center and would love to add some more size and toughness up front while Kevin Lowe would love to add some more playing experience and offensive punch to the lineup.

Surprisingly, Lowe doesn’t have a lot of salary cap wiggle room with a total cap hit of $50.8 million (unofficial total: http://www.nhlnumbers.com/compare.php) while Montreal has salary cap room of about $3.7 million ( again unofficial and not including the salaries of recent call ups, O’Byrne and Lapierre). Salary concerns shouldn’t be a problem as both teams would even things up as far as dollars are concerned.

Names to consider: Jarret Stoll, Raffi Torres, Fernando Pisani, Robert Nilsson, Zack Stortini(for toughness) and possibly Ales Hemsky and Joni Pitkanen .
The other trade rumour circulating these days involved San Jose and Montreal, Bob McKenzie simply mentioned that the Sharks and Canadiens would be a good fit to make a trade but did not have any “inside” information that something was imminent (…more). When a true hockey insider like McKenzie (who is very connected and respected in the hockey world) talks, people listen whether it’s imminent or not.
Once again, Patrick Marleau‘s name has resurfaced along with Steve Bernier and even Joe Pavelski involved in a potential deal. I think the addition of Mike Grier would be a welcome addition of grit and hustle for the third or fourth line. Doug Wilson’s team has struggled at both ends of the ice and would welcome a change. Wilson would also be intrigued to acquire some added goaltending insurance as there is not much depth beyond Evgeni Nabokov. Would you pull the trigger on a Ryder/Koivu (and maybe add an average prospect because of Ryder’s UFA status) for Marleau/Bernier? Food for thought!!?? Huet or Halak could be apart of the equation if they add a Mike Grier into the deal. I’m just playing GM, folks……having a little fun. What do you think?
Keep your eyes on the as well. They have a lot of depth at the center postion but lack an established goaltender. The only problem is that the centers available on the Kings lack size.

Hab fans should keep their eyes and ears open the next week or two as there could be some interesting trade action especially if the Canadiens continue their downward spiral.