So Marian Gaborik wants out of Minnesota. Whether it happens in a trade or next summer as a free agent, he’s pretty much gone.
Many people think he will go to Montreal, but I’m not sure if that will happen. See, Montreal doesn’t have the cap space as they only have about $200,00 left to spend. Gaborik makes more than $6 million. Plus, Montreal has only 10 players signed past this season. And since the Wild probably want players that are already signed, it severely limits what trades can happen.
The other problem is that Gaborik wants to sign a contract extension for about $8 million a year. This is for a player who is often-injured, and has only had more than 67 points in his career once in seven years.
But he has a huge upside, and I’m optimistic (okay, not really). I figured I’d try to see what I could do to trade for Gaborik if I were a Habs GM.
Chris Higgins has to be part of the deal. He’s a young guy who can score. I’m not the biggest Higgins fan, because I think he’s more one-dimensional than Michael Ryder was, but people seem to love him and could be an enticing player. Salary of $1.7 million.
Montreal can also add Roman Hamrlik. He makes $5.5 million, and would be really the only player that could be traded to help the cap space situation. He’s a big defenceman who can chip in with the odd goal.
The Habs should also throw in Kyle Chipchura. He makes just under $1 million. He’s a good player, but he doesn’t have much hope of cracking this lineup, especially with other young players making a good impact. Backup goalie Jaroslav Halak could also be thrown in instead of Chipchura, since most people think he could be a starter elsewhere.
So this would make it a three for one trade (although Minny might need to throw in a minimum-salary player to make the trade work money-wise). The Wild would get a goal-scorer, a good to great defender and a potential number one goalie (or a top prospect).
The Habs would benefit from getting a top player, and getting their young defencemen some quality ice time once Hamrlik leaves. The lines could look something like this:
Of course, I don’t believe a Gaborik for Higgins, Hamrlik and Chipchura/Halak trade could ever happen. Knowing my luck, Minnesota will probably end up trading him to Ottawa for Antoine Vermette, Luke Richardson and Jesse Winchester.