It came down to the wire, but New York Islander GM Garth Snow was about to unload Thomas Vanek. The trade was announced after the 3pm deadline; only because the NHL offices were backlogged with pending deals. Two teams were rumored to be in the running for Vanek, but in the end the Montreal Canadiens came out of the shadows and got their man.
The Thomas Vanek deal may very well be a death sentence for Snow, it was thought that there would be a first round pick and a top prospect available for Vanek. But, in the end the return was picks and a prospect. To attempt a measure of fairness for the Islanders this year’s trade market was not the best for returns on an asset. First round picks were not handed out like candy on Halloween. This really may have been the best offer out there. For Islanders fans none of that matters. Their GM is seemingly unable to compete with the big boys, and gave away a prize pick, and a goal scorer in Matt Moulson when he traded for Vanek earlier this year.
“The Canadiens only gave up prospect Sebastien Collberg. There are some draft picks in play here too; if the Habs make the playoffs (very likely); they send a second-round pick to the Isles. If they miss the playoffs, New York sends a fifth-round pick to Montreal. CBS Sports
Montreal’s front office just set the team up for a playoff run. Thomas Vanek has had the Boston Bruins number for years. Not only does he excel when playing the B’s, he adds scoring to a club that has had a hard time finding the back of the net. Vanek’s 21 goals and 53 points this season makes him tops on the Canadiens roster. The closet player is P.K. Subban (43 points).
This move is simple outstanding for the Canadiens, and it’s a mess for the Islanders. The Canadiens are in Second place in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. However they are tied for last in goals scored out of the Eastern playoff teams with only 164 goals.
Now for the hard question, can Montreal get Vanek signed long-term? I’d guess there is no way to lock up a player who seems to have his sights set on cashing in when he becomes a UFA in June, but if I’m the Canadiens I give it a heck of a try.