Sunday, October 23, 2011

Habs Acquire Nokelainen

2011/2012 StatsContract Details
To MontrealPositionAgeGPGAPYears
Cap Hit
Petteri NokelainenForward2550111$550,000
Garrett StaffordDefense3100001$600,000
To PhoenixPositionAgeGPGAPYears
Cap Hit
Brock TrotterForward2400001$550,000
2012 7th Round Draft Pick

With injuries abound for the Montreal Canadiens, you can somewhat understand why they are in the Eastern Conference basement, sitting in 15th spot and feeling the heat from their fans and the media.  With all of that being said, the team needed to find some immediate help and find it at a reasonable cost.

On Sunday morning, they were able to pull the trigger on a deal with the Phoenix Coyotes, that would see them acquire everyday centre Petteri Nokelainen, a bottom six veteran, who should be able to bring some responsibility in front of Carey Price, but I would expect him to be the cure to their offensive struggles.  This move looks to be more for the defense than it is for the offense, so there is some kind of method to the madness here.

In return, the Coyotes pick up Brock Trotter, a 24-year old who came out of the NCAA ranks and signed as a free agent in 2008.  Trotter just wasn't able to crack the Canadiens line-up over the past few seasons, only playing two games for the club in the 2010 season.  The Coyotes are trying to stockpile some youth and this is a good way to do it.

This deal really isn't the end all for the Canadiens, who are still waiting for Andrei Markov to return to the line-up and now having lost Scott Gomez for a while, the team needed to shore up down the middle.  Nokelainen may be a good fit for the Canadiens, defensively, but the team really needs to get healthy again, before we can really see what they're made of.  This deal is a start, but it's far from where they'll want to finish.

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