OK, so here’s the deal. You’re a GM in need a forward. You have the opportunity to get one of Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan, Shane Doan, or Alex Semin. (Or, you can do nothing.)
Of course, each one comes with a price…
To get Nash, you’ll have to give up a solid roster player, a couple of decent prospects, and a first-round pick. Plus you have to take on his contract, which has six years left at a cap hit of $7.8 million.
To get Ryan, it’s the same price as Nash. Contract: three years left, cap hit $5.1 million.
To get Doan, you have to give him a three-year deal with a $5 million cap hit and a no-trade clause.
To get Semin, it’s one year for $2 million, and if it works out he’s promised to re-sign a reasonable deal (and we’ll assume he won’t break his promise).
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.