Some of These Habs Trades Could Have Shifted the Landscape
We are now inching closer to the start of the NHL regular season, and I have to say, I am excited as ever. News still may be a bit slow around this time of year, seeing as it’s time for development camp, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some gold in hockey history. This week, while I had some free time, I decided to search up “Habs Trades That Almost Happened”. What I found was shocking.
For starters, during the offseason of 2009, it was reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning were shopping their declining star-center Vincent Lecavalier. The Quebec native was a legend in Tampa Bay and was a huge factor in their 2004 Stanley Cup victory. Lord knows Canadiens fans would have loved to have a hometown hero such as Lecavalier in the lineup, which is probably why this deal was negotiated.
The deal went like this; Lecavalier for a Canadiens 2010 First Round Pick, sophomore NHL’er Carey Price, prospect Max Pacioretty, and prospect P.K Subban. I know; what? At the time this seemed like an O.K trade, seeing as Price was fairly new to the NHL and hadn’t accomplished much, Pacioretty was spending most of his time in the AHL, and Subban was still in the OHL.
In hindsight, however, this trade would have destroyed our team for years to come. Thankfully the trade was nixed at the last minute. In celebration of this almost trade, I figured I would bring you three other trades that almost happened and could have changed the team for years to come.
Atlanta 1st Round Pick (Ilya Kovalchuk) for Jose Theodore
Even though we would eventually get Kovalchuk during the 2019-20 season, the Canadiens could have gotten him while he was first coming into the NHL. After his tenure as Habs GM, Serge Savard mentioned how this deal almost went through. The deal set in place was Atlanta’s first overall pick for the Habs seventh overall pick (Mike Komisarek) and Jose Theodore.
The deal fell through because Savard was unwilling to part with Theodore, who would go on to win the Hart Trophy the season after. At the time the Canadiens looked smart to nix the deal, but down the line, it is clear who won the “almost-trade”. Ah, what could have been.
Claude Giroux for P.K Subban
This trade was also disastrous for the Canadiens, as they had the chance to offload P.K Subban in 2014 in return for the Flyers 2015 1st Round Pick (which ended up being Ivan Provorov), Samuel Morin, and a choice of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, or Wayne Simmonds.
We all know what transpired instead; Bergevin declined, signed Subban the very next day (to an atrocious 8-year contract), and then traded him a year later for Shea Weber. Don’t get me wrong, I love Shea Weber and what he has brought to the Canadiens, but could you imagine a lineup with Provorov, Giroux, and Morin? That would be insane!
Stevie Y to YUL
After a productive 1989-90 season, in which he put up 127 points, Steve Yzerman looked like a bonafide superstar in the NHL. Still, his Detroit Red Wings finished last place that year and the team was looking to offload the star centerman in favor of acquiring a slew of role players.
This is where the Habs come in. As their GM at the time, Serge Savard was high on Stevie Y, and figured he would be a great piece to have on the first line. The deal was this; Stevie Y for Shayne Corson, Brent Gilchrist, and Eric Desjardins. Apparently, the deal was set to go through, but Savard dropped out at the last minute because he didn’t want to give up Corson, who was a leader in the locker room.
Instead, the Habs would keep their players, and then go on to win a Stanley Cup two years later. The Red Wings would build their own dynasty in the late 90s and early 2000s, and go on to have a playoff streak of 25 seasons, which is an NHL record.
I find it insanely interesting to see “what could have been”. If you are a fan of another NHL team feel free to inform me of any trades your team almost made in the comments below.