<edit:> This is all coming from the top of my head. Nothing even resembling official negotiations here.</edit>
I think we can all look at Montreal system and see that they lack grit and size for the future. Also -- looking at the draft, I don't see much that many players that would be a real good fit in Montreal's system at the 18th position, bar Chipchura and Valabik.
What would you guys say to this:
To Tampa: MTL 1st
Tom Montreal: Artukhin + TB 2nd
From what I've heard, Artukhin is huge and he'll hit anything that moves, though he's a bit of a project. I figure a year or two with Jarvis and he could become a killer third-liner. The biggest setback for Montreal would be that they dont get to draft until very late in the second.
From a Tampa perspective, they get a mid-1st, and Artukhin is sorta expendable in a Josef Balej way, because the Lightning have a lot of players cut from that same mold.
I don't like the idea of giving up the 1st rounder. I have faith in Mtl's drafting now. Artukhin, a potential 3rd liner, doesn't seem like enough to give up for a player who could potentially become a front-liner drafted at 18. Maybe if Mtl hadn't given up its second rounder this year.
Hmmm, so this proposal doesn't seem to work, maybe this one will be more to your liking? Any way you guys think Breezy could be involved in a deal for this guy. I know he's waved his no trade clause around before, but if it were to go to a contender with the weather that Tampa has to offer, he'd have a real hard time saying no. I still think Montreal's a good 4 or 5 years away from making a serious Stanley Cup run, and I wouldn't mind seeing them take a step back if it was to improve for that time.
I would really like to see Artukhin in a Habs uniform. Last time I checked, we don't have an abundance of 6'5 240lb forwards who can skate in the system.