2007 NHL Trade Deadline
Sharks acquire Rivet
Faced with the prospect of losing him anyway as an unrestricted free agent, the Montreal Canadiens traded defenceman Craig Rivet to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenceman Josh Gorges and a 2007 first-round draft choice. The Canadiens also surrender a fifth-rounder in 2008 in the deal.The phrase "throwing in the towel" is already being tossed around Montreal circles.
More analysis later to come later tonight — but I will say that the "sellers' market" continues.
UPDATE A first-round pick and a half-decent depth prospect like Gorges seems like an awful lot to give up for Rivet, who while solid is merely a dependable No. 3 or 4 blueliner.
Still, the market is overpriced and the Sharks desperately needed defensive help given how green they are on the back end. Rivet was averaging 21 minutes per night with the Habs, and may work better in a support role with a stronger cast in San Jose.
Gorges, meanwhile, may not be a household name as a guy who went undrafted and then served in a depth role on a pretty good team, but he was an exceptional junior, serving as captain for his hometown 2004 Memorial Cup winning Kelowna Rockets team. He's just 23 years old and has already skated in 96 NHL games, and should have no problem staying up with the Canadiens in the future. He's undersized but has far better hands than he's generally given credit for, and could evolve into a secondary power-play type later in his career if given the opportunity.
There's some speculation that Montreal will flip the first-rounder received in this deal for an established veteran in order to make a bid for the playoffs, but with Rivet, Sheldon Souray and Andrei Markov all poised to exit stage left, you have to wonder if the Canadiens would be better served by planning for next season. The wheels fell off on this team weeks ago, and without Cristobal Huet, it's difficult to imagine they'll make any kind of run in the postseason.
- Once again, Eric Duhatschek has his analysis here
- Habs Inside/Out has the audio from Rivet's conference call