The Montreal Canadiens continue offseason trade frenzy


Just a few days ago we discussed a few acquisitions including Taylor Hall slotted for 3rd line center.

Almost immediately, though, the Habs traded their current 2nd line center Ed Kastelic to the Kings as well as prospect Nathan Dempsey to the LA Kings in return for centre Alexander Semak and prospect Allan Egeland. 

Kastelic was an extremely serviceable center scoring 51 points in 65 games for his best career season. Unfortunately, he was often injured or suspended causing him to lose 15 games. Further his high level of indiscipline led him to 322 PIM, also a new summit for him.  Between the lack of discipline and his $2M salary, Habs management probably felt that a cheaper and younger Semak (two years younger), who is much more disciplined could probably do a good enough job while the team continues its rebuild. Its not clear who of Semak and Hall will play 2nd or 3rd center and Semak surely cannot match Kastelic’s points but the Habs are also not in a win now mode.  Semak has only played in 5 NFHL career games and is yet to score his 1st point. 

Allan Egeland is an interesting prospect with extremely good puck control skills.  He refused to re-sign with LA and will finish the season as an RFA as his agent has already said he wants to see how he fits into the teams plans before committing long term.  Egeland had 75 points in 80 games in the NMFHL last season.

The Habs then jumped on an opportunity and likely overspent when they sent $5M on cold hard cash to Florida to acquire Edmonton’s 1st round pick in the upcoming 1995 entry draft.  This was of course a little bit of long term planning as it provides the Habs with a 3rd first round pick in 1995. 

The Habs then traded young goalie Patrick Lalime, somewhat giving up on this goalie prospect who they felt wasn’t developing as planned. In return, the former “Flames” franchise welcomed back its former starter, Steve Penney. Penney started or played in 51 games for this franchise back in 1991 going 11-32-4 and a save percentage of .860. In 1992, he joined the Habs team (now the Leafs) and had a slightly better season with 14 wins and .861 save percentage.  Last season, for Washington/Florida Penney played in parts of 2 games and was abysmal with a GAA of 7.32 and save percentage of 0.762 although he was only slightly better in 44 NMFHL games with a GAA of 5.91.  Penney is expected to support Osgood and Cousineau in the minors.  Lalime did not stay long with Washington/Florida as he was immediately traded to Buffalo for journeyman Darren Pang.

The Habs then completed two minor swaps ahead of Mini-FA day by sending veteran NMFHL player Mark Johnson and prospect Juha Lind to Vancouver for $1 and St Louis 3rd round pick in 1996.

-The Montreal Gazette