I don't know about you, but I would take a top-four on defence of Dion Phaneuf, Tomas Kaberle, Francois Beauchemin and Mike Komisarek, assuming of course Bruke holds true to his vow not to ask Kaberle to lift his no trade clause. Meanwhile, Giguere is re-united with his muse, goalie coach Francois Allaire, and could very well find his game playing closer to home.
So, why should Habs fans care? Aside from the fact that Burke has produced more excitement in one day than Bob Gainey has in six months, this trade could have a definite consequence for your Habs, a positive one as far as I'm concerned.
We still don't know if Mike Cammalleri's injury from Saturday afternoon is very serious, but it sure looks that way. As of today, Toronto only has 11 fewer points than the Habs in the same number of games. Carolina has the same deficit to make up but with two games in hand. I don't know about you, but considering the Canadiens have lost three in a row and six of their last eight while scoring only 19 goals over those eight games (six in the same game) with Cammalleri in the lineup, what do you think the Habs will be able to do without him?
When you add in that Andrei Markov appears to be saving himself for the Olympics with the way he's playing and the only reason the Canadiens remain in playoff contention right now is Jaroslav Halak, I don't see much of a surge up the standings on the horizon. I do, however, see a quicker pace to what was an inevitable slide down the standings as the other teams in the pack caught up to the Habs in the games played column.
Montreal is 24th in the NHL in points percentage right now, which would amount to a No. 7 pick in the draft. The Habs are at .500, the Hurricanes are at .417 and the Leafs are at .402 to sit 28th and 29th.
Let's just say those three teams swap those percentages for the rest of the season, since Carolina has picked it up of late winning four straight and the Leafs got much better today. If the Habs finish the season picking up 40 per cent of the points available, they would have 76 points at the end of the season. Conversely, if the 'Canes pick up 50 per cent of their points they'll have 73 points, while the Leafs would have 71.
So clearly, the Canadiens will have to be monumentally bad down the stretch and the Leafs and Canes will have to be marginally better than .500 clubs for them to finish ahead of the Habs. But it's not outside the realm of possibility, and while no self-respecting athlete would ever start tanking games, there's nothing saying the general manager can't try to give his team that final little push off the cliff with a nice little firesale.
If only the Habs had some interesting pieces to sell off.