Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gauthier kills three birds with one stone

In trading the rights to Sergei Kostitsyn and future considerations to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday in exchange for the rights to restricted free agent centre Dustin Boyd and unrestricted free agent goalie Dan Ellis, Pierre Gauthier solved three problems at once.

Assuming, of course, he can get Ellis and Boyd to sign here.

Ellis, obviously, would be a tremendous insurance policy should Carey Price falter this season. The 30-year-old (his birthday was June 19) was 15-13-1 with the Preds last season with a .909 save percentage and 2.69 GAA, numbers that are at least competitive and at most better than Price's.

Gauthier said he would seek a good goaltender to "support" Price, and that's what he's done. It remains to be seen if Ellis is willing to accept a backup role and, consequently, backup money to come to Montreal. He made $1.8 million last year, and if he's willing to take similar money from the Canadiens then something could probably be worked out.

However, earlier Tuesday Ellis wrote on his Twitter account how excited he was for Thursday's opening of the free agent market. However he did send out a "Pretty cool" just before the trade was officially announced.

Boyd, who turns 24 on July 16, would seemingly be a perfect fit as a replacement for Glen Metropolit on the fourth line. At 6-foot, 187 pounds, Boyd is no giant, but he plays the game hard and has good speed with decent hands. He was credited with 81 hits in 78 games last season in just under 11 minutes of ice time per game. Offensively, he had 11 goals and 13 assists in 60 games with the Calgary Flames and 18 games with Nashville.

So in one fell swoop, Gauthier has potentially filled the backup goalie spot, the fourth line centre spot and jettisoned the enfant terrible to Opryland.

Not a bad day's work.

UPDATE 6:36 p.m. The latest from Dan Ellis' Twitter: "Very excited about the trade! Its an honor to be part of a team with such great tradition and passion! Hope we can figure something out!"

UPDATE 9:21 pm - It appears Boyd was not given a qualifying offer by the Predators and is in fact UFA


Nicolas said...

Boyd is UFA too.

"Nashville did not extend Qualifying Offers to Dustin Boyd, Denis Grebeshkov, or Peter Olvecky; all three will now become unrestricted free agents on July 1."


Michael said...

Can anyone find out if there is some rule about RFA being traded and the new team able to qualify them? Curious about this.

Arpon Basu said...

Deadline for qualifying offers was Monday, so it would be too late

Anonymous said...

Could have had Ellis and Boyd for free. Not sure why Gauthier would GIVE AWAY Sergei.... 23, inexpensive, probably scores 20 goals if he plays on their second line. He showed up for London and Belarus. Looks like Montreal gave away potential for nothing. Could be like LeClair, Letandresse, Ryder, etc..... We need to start drafting players and developing them instead of trading away picks.

Don't let a flukey playoff run set the wrong expectations. Ask the folks in Calgary and Edmonton.

Anonymous said...

SK is a cancer ...we're lucky we got anything for that waste of talent.

Andy J Smith illustration said...

Playing SK would give the wrong impression to other players on the team that it doesn't matter your effort level as long as you're talented. You need both. SK needed to go. Pouliot, Lapierre, and AK can pick up the slack of bad offensive zone penalties.

LeMatheux said...

I really don't get the plan with Ellis. Oh, he's a great goalie. In fact, if I were a GM looking for a #1 on the UFA market this summer, he would be my pick.

And herein lies the problem. He's too good. The Habs can't afford him.

Ellis made 2 million last year and he is going to a UFA market where he is is perhaps the best option available (only Nabokov might challenge that). He won't be taking a pay cut. 2.5 million is more plausible, and his agent ought to get him 3 someplace, possibly along with a starter's job.

That's really more than the Habs should pay their backup. Their entire salary structure is predicated on getting high-quality, inexpensive goaltending, and a 2.5-million-plus backup knocks that down. The whole point of not going with a Price-Halak tandem was to not have a significant chunk of cap space on the bench every game. If they sign Ellis, even on the cheap, where is the money going to come from for that top-6 winger they're still missing?

I mean, getting Ellis's rights carries no risk and the Habs can just walk away, I'm just not sure I understand what the plan is. He's a great hockey fit but the dollars just don't seem to work.

As for SKost, well, I guess it had to be done, but I don't like this tendency for the Habs to "jettison" so many "problem children". If it was only Sergei it would be no problem, but they shipped out guys like Latendresse and Ribeiro for less than their value, too...

pmk said...

I don't think pg's done - I expect Ak to follow soon. Possible destination? LA maybe?

Sliver24 said...

@ pmk: I hope you're right! How about Gomez and AK for Spezza and Cheechoo? I know Cheechoo is a dud but Spezza is a major talent that's just entering his prime.

As for the trade, at least it gets SK off the books and out of town. If the Preds sign him and the Habs don't sign either Ellis or Boyd, at least we get two late round pick out of it. In the end that would not be a bad haul for that waste of space.

nk said...

i consider this a win-win deal.

if we can get something good for ak then i can see a trade happening otherwise i'll be curious to see him play without his brother. might be what he needs, though i'm willing to admit he's run out of chances.