Mark your calendars folks, as today we have a hockey trade.
The Montreal Canadiens acquired powerplay quarterback James Wisniewski from the New York Islanders in exchange for a second round pick in 2011 and a conditional fifth rounder in 2012. One more time we would like to thank Lyle “Spector” Richardson as he was vital in predicting this very move a few weeks ago.
Just like last year, the Habs were willing to part with a second rounder (see Dominic Moore), further taking a page out of the Bobby Clarke guide to trading draft picks. With Andrei Markov out for the rest of the year, the Canadiens have truly struggled to find the right player, trying rookies PK Subban and Yannick Weber while infuriating their fanbase in the meantime.
In Wisniewski, the team has one of the hottest players in hockey as he brings a six game point streak to the table. By trading him the Islanders were smart enough to realize their current three game winning streak would not turn their season around as they allowed seven goals and 52 shots last night. Expect Bruno Gervais to step back into the lineup while one of Travis Hamonic or Andrew MacDonald will play on the top powerplay unit.
On the Habs side, Wisniewski steps into their top powerplay unit and probably means Weber goes back to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. Heck, the team may even be as bold as to send Subban back down as they recently have made it clear that Alexandre Picard stays in the lineup. Either way, the Canadiens have surely upgraded their current situation.
Wisniewski should additionally benefit from better surroundings although he will probably play with less talented players during even strength. The Isles are currently tied for 26 with just a 15.1 percent completion rating while the Canadiens have a much more efficient 19 percent, which is good for 12th overall.
Clearly both teams benefit from this move, hence the term “hockey trade.” As CapGeek points out, the Habs still have room to add another player if they so desire with enough room to acquire another 4 million cap hit. The rebuild has began on Long Island, who’s next?