According to various sources on the Twitter machine (including CBC’s Elliotte Friedman and and RDS’ Renaud Lavoie), the Montreal Canadiens have acquired Petteri Nokelainen and Garrett Stafford from Phoenix in exchange for Brock Trotter and a 7th-round draft pick.
After a 1-4-2 start and fresh off an OT loss to the Leafs, many were expecting Montreal to swing a deal of, how should we put this, larger magnitude. The team is struggling and dealing with a myriad of injuries — it’s being reported Scott Gomez will be out a week, joining Jaroslav Spacek, Andrei Markov and Chris Campoli amongst the walking wounded — so it was no surprise see Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos tweeting that Montreal was working the phones to add lineup depth.
But Nokelainen? And Stafford?
The former is a center, and the Habs do need centers. Without Gomez they’re going David Desharnais-Tomas Plekanec-Lars Eller-Andreas Engqvist down the middle, so it’s clear to see why GM Pierre Gauthier wanted to add depth. But Nokelainen was only averaging around 11 minutes a game in Phoenix and spent last season with Jokerit of the Finnish league. There’s also this glowing analysis from the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts: “Since Petteri Nokelainen, Habs’ latest saviour, drafted 16th overall in ’04, he’s had major knee surgery, traded 4 times, bought out once.”
So yeah, he’s a stopgap solution at best.
Stafford, meanwhile, is a 31-year-old defenseman that’s played seven NHL contests. The best-case scenario (for him, anyway) is to become Montreal’s No. 7 blueliner until Spacek returns from his rib injury. But it’s most likely he’ll go straight to the AHL, where he’s logged close to 600 games over his career.
In closing, we’re somewhat skeptical this trade will solve Montreal’s problems.
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The Los Angeles Kings lost one of their most veteran defensemen on Tuesday, as the club announced Matt Greene would be out indefinitely following shoulder surgery.
Greene, 32, had only appeared in three games this season, missing extensive time with the ailment. He had recently resumed skating with teammates and looked to be on the way back to a return, but never got to the point where he was participating in drills, or taking contact.
If Greene misses extensive time, L.A. could be in the market for a defenseman come trade deadline day, like they were last year before acquiring Andrej Sekera from Carolina. Greene is one of the most playoff-tested players on the L.A. roster, with 79 games and two Stanley Cups on his resume (and another Stanley Cup Final, with Edmonton in 2006).
Looks like the Canucks will have an interesting lineup tonight
But hold on, that doesn’t necessarily mean Pedan will make his NHL debut tonight. This morning, the Canucks announced they’d called up d-man Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Theoretically, inserting Biega could allow the offensively inclined Yannick Weber to move up to forward. Biega and Weber both shoot right. Pedan shoots left.
But wait, there exists another possibility — that both Pedan and Biega could play. That will depend on Chris Tanev‘s status. He got banged up yesterday as well, though he was able to skate this morning.
Weber likely to skate as a forward tonight. Biega may play instead of Pedan. If Tanev can't go, both will play. #Canucks