It had better be, because it cost the Canadiens a pretty big price to move up five spots and grab hulking American defenceman Jarred Tinordi with the 22nd pick in the NHL Draft on Friday.
Clearly, Trevor Timmins felt strongly enough about Tinordi to convince Pierre Gauthier to surrender the team's second round pick at #57 to the Phoenix Coyotes to move up and grab him. In return, the Canadiens also received the 113th pick in the draft.
If Tinordi turns out to be a top-four defenceman in the NHL, the trade will most definitely be worth it because there didn't appear to be much of a chance that he would survive all the way to Montreal's original pick at #27. The Sabres took another defenceman, Mark Pysyk, right after Montreal, and it appears as though the Canucks were prepared to scuttle their deal to acquire Keith Ballard from Florida if Tinordi were still on the board at #25.
But for now, I wonder if it was really worth it to use a second round pick to move up and grab Tinordi, especially with so many other players that appear to suit the Canadiens needs still on the board. Had they stayed at #27, the Habs could have chosen hulking centres Tyler Pitlick or Brock Nelson, or could have taken a chance on John MacFarland, or even taken the speedy California kid Emerson Etem.
It's hard to say if the Canadiens made the right move or not because I've never seen any of these people play, and from the sounds of it Tinordi is a very tantalizing prospect. Already 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, he was captain of the US under-18 team that won the world championships this season and it appears he can skate pretty well for a giant.
The timing may also be just about right on this one.
Hal Gill is likely entering his final season in Montreal, ditto Roman Hamrlik and perhaps even Andrei Markov. Jaroslav Spacek has two years left on his untradeable contract. That's two thirds of the Montreal defence corps which may be turning over in the next two years, which is at least how long it will take Tinordi to make the NHL. In fact, seeing him in Montreal in three or four years is probably way more likely.
By then, the Canadiens may have P.K. Subban, Ryan O'Byrne, Yannick Weber and Mathieu Carle playing in the top-6. Having Tinordi coming down the pipes will probably be pretty comforting by then.
But now the Canadiens will not pick again until the fourth round, and that 57th overall pick could have been used to shore up the depth of Montreal's farm system, which is starting to thin out after years of being considered one of the deepest in the NHL.
Here are some links to read more on Tinordi from NHL.com, TSN, Hockey's Future and Red Line Report's Kyle Woodlief in USA Today (it's about two thirds of the way down the page).
Now the focus shifts to Gauthier playing the trade market Saturday. Benoit Pouliot was the only Canadiens restricted free agent not to receive a qualifying offer from the team, a baffling move unless Pouliot is on the verge of being traded. In fact, even then it's baffling, but it does show some degree of reticence on the part of Gauthier to have Pouliot around.
Then there's Sergei Kostitsyn, who spouted off again on the Canadiens to a Belarusian newspaper. He slammed the team for trading away Jaroslav Halak, slammed Carey Price, slammed Jacques Martin. The guy just never learns.
Gauthier says Pouliot will likely receive his qualifying offer by Monday's deadline, but if that's the case, why wait? And as far as Kostitsyn goes, I think if Gauthier is unable to trade him he'll go to the KHL.
Seeing as Gauthier won't have much to do for a lot of the day Saturday, maybe he can work on resolving these two nagging issues.