Trade Deadline Dilemma for the Montreal Canadiens


With the NHL trade deadline just around the corner, this is the time of year when teams are faced with a dilemma. Are they buyers, sellers or just observers?

In the past, teams like the Montreal Canadiens who currently sit 7 points back of a playoff spot would traditionally be sellers. Pending free agents such as Hal Gill and Travis Moen attract plenty of attention from teams seeking to add depth for a playoff push.

To most, it’s a no-brainier.  Trade both Gill and Moen for mid level draft picks and replace them in the off-season. Fair enough- but easier said then done.

Lack of size and lack of toughness are two problems that have plagued the Canadiens for the past decade. So on July 1st, it’s pretty obvious the type player Montreal needs to target:  A 3rd line forward who makes less than $2 Million, can play 10-15 minutes, is competent in the elements of fighting, drives to the net, responsible in his own zone, and can chip in10-12goals…..In other words they’ll target Travis Moen or his clone.

Moen will never be confused for Milan Lucic, but he does have all the intangibles the Habs so desperately need. He’s a lower middle weight, responsible defensively, and can contribute in all 3 zone with limited impact.

The table below compares Moen to three other players in his class. (thanks to for the metrics).

Player Age Cap hit TOI/60 Rel Cors Pen Drawing/60 +/- 60min Pts/gm
Travis Moen 29 $1.50 M 13:05 .798 0.7 -0.38  0.333
Max Talbot 28 $1.75 M 11:72 .623 1.4 0.09 0.446
Jason Chimera 32 $1.88 M 12:38 1.19 0.7 -.45 0.472
Greg Campbell 28 $1.10 M 10:62 -.32 0.7 .56 0.260


Of the 4 players, Moen is averaging the highest time on ice over 60 minutes. His relative Corsi score indicates he’s matched up against the others teams 2nd line which also explains his low plus/minus over 60 minutes.  He’s the same age as his 3 counterparts, and his salary is right in the middle.

Earlier this month, it was a foregone conclusion that the Carolina Hurricanes would trade pending UFA Tim Gleason. Instead they signed him to an extension. The reason according Jim Rutherford was simple: Trading Gleason would require the Hurricanes to replace him with another warm body. Looking ahead to this years free agent crop, it’s obvious teams will have to over-pay (more than usual) for a puck moving defencemen. In other words, Carolina would trade Gleason only target a similar player who probably makes the same or close to what the Hurricanes are paying Gleason. It’s also the reason they haven’t traded Tuomo Ruutu yet and the same reason the Edmonton Oilers just re-signed Andy Sutton.

The Canadiens should take a page from the Carolina play book. If you already have the player you want, don’t bother trading him. Travis Moen provides great value at a very reasonable price.

6 thoughts on “Trade Deadline Dilemma for the Montreal Canadiens”

  1. I’ve been a die hard Habs fan all my life, and, sometimes I get more than a little annoyed with the dead head suggestions coming from some Habs fans when the team is not doing well, like right now.  But the one suggesting that the Habs trade Subban to Philly tops them all. What a dead head move that wouild be. Does this person have any brains at all.  It’s this kind of idiotic move that has gotten the Habs where they are. Subban is an “untouchable” as far as I’m concerned, and I hope the team amangement feel exactly the same way.

    • I agree 100^ on Subban.  Sure he makes some mistakes and some bonehead moves but guess what.  He will be one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL once he matures.  He can skate, shoot , reads the ice well, fight (needs soemlessons) and has good size.  Not tradeable

  2. I am all for keeping Travis Moen.  But we need a new direction, we need a big centre with lots of upside.  I say trade Couturier for Subban, then Gill, Campoli for picks.  Open to offers on anyone if the offer is right.  But Couturier for Subban is good for Philly as they need a top 4 Dman and we get a future top centre.  Go Habs Go – next year, cause this year stick a fork in them they are done.  Let the trade deadline blitz begin.

    • Trade Subban to Philly ? Are you feeling ok ? The kid is 22 yrs old and loaded with talent , I really don’t want to watch Subban raise a cup in orange and black. Be patient fellow Hab fans we have one of thee best goalies in the league,and I am getting sick of the Halak talk,don’t get me wrong I have nothing against him, but they made the right choice in keeping Price and Eller is turning into a real stud….GO HABS GO

      • “Price was the right choice” is a common refrain amongs Hab fans but the fact is, we’ll never know.  Because we’ll never know how Halak would have been with the Habs current defense corp.  A goalie is ‘tuned’ to his defensemen, as Halak was during that playoff run.

        We DO know that Price, while good to great, has not been great to amazing and lets in some crushing softies.  Trading Halak was a move of phenomenal stupidity…we could have kept both, or traded one for some real value or at least TALKED to Halak maybe?

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