TSN's Bob McKenzie is one of the most reliable sources for information when it comes to breaking news and trade rumors around the NHL. On Friday, he appeared on TSN 690 to discuss the possibility of trading Tomas Plekanec, a veteran center who is on an expiring contract.
“You’ve got to weigh that," McKenzie says. "The Canadiens obviously want to try to make the playoffs, and in the division they’re in they certainly have a chance to make the playoffs. So it might be a moot point where if you’re right there for a playoff spot, you’re probably not going to want to do anything that might jeopardize that. I think it’s important for the Canadiens to try and make the playoffs.
“But you’re right, if you fall out then a guy like Plekanec who is on an expiring contract – his name will go into the hopper with all of the other rentals. And then it’s a matter of just simply looking at all of the rentals that are available and sort of slotting in where Plekanec fits, and then seeing what the highest-end guy is going to fetch in a trade and what the lowest-end guy is going to get, and where Plekanec fits in.
“And then you say to yourself, ‘Hmm. Is it worth trading Tomas Plekanec for a second-round pick,’ or a third-round pick, or whatever the market value is set at the time. And then you make an easy decision based on that.”
Plekanec, a veteran of nearly 1,000 games and 600 career points, is on a deal that ends this summer, paying him $6 million. As of now, he has about $3.6 million left on that cap hit.
The Montreal Canadiens are in a position of weakness, and by trade deadline, their future will be more certain. Plekanec is a very smart defensive center that a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins and several others would be interested in having on their 3rd line. He's responsible on both ends of the ice, can win some faceoffs, and while his production has dropped, he has scored some very clutch playoff goals over the years.
The Canadiens have roughly $7.5 million in cap space and could afford to retain some money to make a deal. A 2nd and/or a 3rd round pick doesn't sound like a stiff price to pay for a seasoned veteran of Plekanec's ilk.
Should your team make an offer for him?