Shortly after signing restricted free agent P.K. Subban to a 2 yr deal last week it seems Habs GM Marc Bergevin wants to hit the negotiating table with another RFA. Insiderrumours.com is reporting that Bergevin is in the process of preparing 2 trade packages for the Colorado Avalanche in an attempt to get, at the very least, two-way centre Ryan O’Reilly and potentially defenseman Erik Johnson.
The biggest problem facing this deal, in my opinion, is not what the Canadiens will have to trade to get O’Reilly, but the money they will have to pay him upon acquiring him. Rotoworld.com reported that O’Reilly is looking for a contract that will pay him close to $5 million per season. Bergevin currently sits around $4 million dollars under the cap and with #1 centre David Desharnais becoming an RFA this offseason he may have less wiggle room than he thinks. The potential of bringing in Johnson aswell would add another 3.75m against the cap. Moving Lars Eller, Raphael Diaz, Louis Leblanc, a prospect and a 1st rd pick, as insiderrumours.com reported, wouldn’t free up enough space to pay Johnson and give O’Reilly the money he is looking for. Bergevin would have to somehow find a way to rid himself of one the terrible contracts given to Erik Cole ($4.5m against the cap) and Tomas Kaberle ($4.25m) if he wishes to pull off a potential blockbuster deal.
O’Reilly, at 6’0″ 200lbs, would add some much needed size and grit down the middle for the Habs. Last year the 22 yr old from Clinton, Ontario came into his own with 18 goals and 37 assists and earned himself an invite to the World Championships for Canada. Erik Johnson was the 1st overall pick in the 2006 entry draft by the St. Louis Blues and, to this point in his career, has yet to live up to the expectations. Johnson would still be a great pickup for the Habs because at 24 years old he is nearly a veteran with 309 career games played and still has plenty of time to develop.
Check theses reports from Insiderrumours.com and Rotoworld.com for more info click the links below!
Salary Cap numbers courtesy of Capgeek.com