Kukla's Korner

The Upper Canadien

Grading the Habs deadline

The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Montreal Canadiens are a better team than they were on Sunday. As far as I'm concerned, that's the most important aspect of the deadline when a team is in playoff contention. However, the other important factor is, of course, what the team gave up to acquire assets. A quick recap:

  • The Habs started the day early, sending a 2nd round pick, and a conditional pick (which could become a 3rd depending on playoff results) to Edmonton for Jeff Petry. Petry was one of the most sought after defencemen at the deadline, known for his smooth skating, strong shot, and defensive positioning. Petry gives the Habs just what they needed on the back end, and was a solid pick up by GM Marc Bergevin at a reasonable price.
  • Bergevin stayed busy, sending a 2016 5th round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for versatile forward Brian Flynn. Flynn gives the Habs speed on the third and fourth line, and he's strong on faceoffs. He should provde valuable depth and character heading into the playoffs.
  • Bergevin's final move of the day was sending a 7th round pick and physically-inclined prospect Jack Nevins, again to Buffalo, for Montreal native Torrey Mitchell. Mitchell is another gritty third or fourth liner, who is a solid penalty killer and has playoff experience. He's also a local son, who was very excited to become a Hab. A solid depth pick up at a very reasonable price.

All in all, the Canadiens had a solid day, as trader Marc added valuable depth pieces for the impending playoffs. What Bergevin did not do is add a proven top-six scorer - many believe he was close, and added Flynn and Mitchell anticipating another move of multiple players - but he addressed the Canadiens primary need, which was a top four defenceman. If I am assigning a grade, I would give the Habs a B+, below the A level because of the inability to add a scorer, but a job very well done nonetheless.

All that said, the Canadiens are a better team than they were to start the week, and they didn't have to part with much. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a solid deadline.

The Habs are in Anaheim tomorrow. Let's see what the new additions can do. 

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Comments

SYF's avatar

Not a bad haul for the Habs.  The Atlantic Division teams (except for BUF and BOS) were the most active, I think.  All the active players at the deadline got better.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 03/03/15 at 09:56 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Thus, I think the Atlantic Division is the most competitive division now.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 03/03/15 at 09:58 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

Not sure if I would list “defensive positioning” as one of Petry’s skills.  I guess being on a bad oilers team can make anyone a -26.

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 03/04/15 at 07:47 AM ET

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The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.

I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.

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