Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 11/11/10 at 02:32 PM ET
The media are having fun today, as we (finally) have a trade. The Montreal Canadiens ship out a $1.4 million cap hit in Ryan O’Byrne to the desperate Colorado Avalanche, in exchange for prospect Michael Bournival.
So, the question that follows every trade: who wins?
In this case, both teams. O’Byrne has been a healthy scratch since the third game of the year, and was taking up valuable cap room (and press box room, too - he’s a big boy at 6’5’‘!). Colorado, after starting four rookies on defence last night, get a defenceman who can slide in and play. The Habs get a strong prospect, former third rounder Michael Bournival, who at 18 still has lots of room for development. Bournival is a top 20 scorer in the QMJHL and a darkhorse to make the Canadian Junior team this winter.
Quite simply, Alex Picard stole Ryan O’Byrne’s job, and believe me, the Canadiens have enough big and slow defencemen as it is. Good for Ryan O’Byrne though, as he never complained and now gets a chance to play. After losing his mother to cancer early last year, O’Byrne has had a rough ride in Montreal. All the best to a classy hockey player, who I still believe can stick as a number five or six defenceman in the NHL.
The bigger question now: what will the Canadiens do next?
Yes, the Habs are third in the East and sixth in the NHL after fourteen games, but the power play remains a huge problem. 7.8% ain’t gonna cut it, and this achilles heel is going to catch up with the team sooner or later. Is the cure a new point shot defenceman, a new big bodied forward to stand in front of the new - a new power play coach? After waiving Dustin Boyd earlier this week, and now dealing O’Byrne, the Habs have about $2 million more to work with (Boyd can now be sent down at any time). They clearly seem to be gearing up for a move. According to my quick calculations, the Habs have about $2.2 million to work with now, should Boyd be jettisoned to Hamilton.
In the meantime, the Canadiens play a Boston Bruins team tonight that scored five goals in the third period last night to beat Pittsburgh 7-4. This is another good test. The Habs are confident after a 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Can Scott Gomez (finally) score another goal? The puck drops at 7 pm.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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