Canadiens make more trades in offseason to bolster both pro and farm club
After sending Tverdovsky and Bureau to LA as compensation for Therien, the Kings and Habs struck another deal with Doug Zmolek heading to LA in return for Darren McCarty. McCarty had just received an offer to extend his contract, but he refused it and declared he would rather test the market the following off season. With Therien having already betrayed the Kings when he signed that RFA deal, the Kings GM did not want to take the risk of losing McCarty without getting a decent return. Doug Zmolek, a promising rough and tumble defenseman, played in his first 10 games last season scoring his first assist and spending 47 minutes in the box. In return, the Habs received a former 1st round pick in 1991, drafted in the same year as Niedermayer, Osgood, Glen Murray and Zholtok. McCarty will need some work but could develop nicely into a bottom 6 role with lots of grit and scoring ability.
The Habs then sent Vancouverís 3rd round pick in 1995 to Buffalo to acquire veteran Taylor Hall. The Habs could afford to send a draft pick as they have 5 more of them for 1995. Taylor Hall is a much-needed veteran that is expected to play as 3rd line centre. He also adds grit and toughness which is needed with the loss of Rychel and Manson. Hall played in 70 games last season scoring 22 points and 289 PIM split between Chicago and Anaheim. Hall comes with a decent 2-year contract at 750k/year.
Finally, the Habs seem to have given up quite early on their 2nd round pick from 1994, Brad Brown. He was traded to the Islanders for some help for the farm team in Rich Chernomaz. The 7-year veteran has played 323 games exclusively for the Isles and managed 180 points during that time frame. His scoring prowess should be a huge boost for the Habs farm club as Chernomaz will likely serve as a mentor to the likes of Glen Murray and Cory Stillman as he completes the last year of his deal.
-The Montreal Gazette