The Canadiens acquired centre Scott Gomez, winger Tom Pyatt and defenceman Mike Busto from the New York Rangers in exchange for winger Chris Higgins and defencemen Doug Janik, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko.
The Canadiens get: a skilled, but expensive pivot who is often miscast as a first liner. Gomez is probably at his best on the second line, posting 70 points (even though he had 84 once). That being said, if he clicks with a sniper this could work out. The other two players will probably not be NHLers, although Pyatt is ranked 283 among forwards on the DobberHockey Fantasy Prospects List.
The Rangers get: more than they could have imagined. This deal is unbelievable. A $7.3 million (cap hit) player who has averaged about 62 points over the last three years would normally get a team an obese contract in return and very little in terms of quality. Not only do the Rags get Chris Higgins, who will probably command similar money as Dave Bolland (around $3.5), but he has the ability to get 62 points and add leadership. Uh, isn't 62 points the same offense that they just gave up? And they got youth and a salary cutback too? Sign me up!
That's not all. That's not even the KEY to what the Rangers got here. There are some scouts who feel that McDonagh is - er, was - the best prospect in the Montreal organization. And that's if you include P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty in their thinking. He is an all-around player and leader who will be in the NHL in two or three years as a No.3 guy. He'll be a 30 or 35-point defenseman, but he'll be that guy that every team craves to own.
We're not done yet. Pavel Valentenko is in Russia for good. At least, so the Habs think. But does anyone believe that the Rangers can't get him back across the pond? Anyone? This is the one team in the NHL who doesn't fear a lack of a Russian transfer agreement.
Wow, Montreal just solved a lot of New York's problems. Somebody had to have been drinking - the Habs have a lot of cap money to spend, but that doesn't mean it should be wasted. If you can't find a better free agent than that for a similar price, then just forget free agents and build through the system. There are a lot of great kids there. Well, two fewer now.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Gomez value should actually rise a little. He has averaged 62 points a season lately, as mentioned, but should see 70 depending on who he ends up playing with. But the same could be said about it if he was still in New York.
Valentenko has some upside, but the Rags will keep him in their back pocket and not bother trying to woo him over here unless Bobby Sanguinetti or Michael Del Zotto disappoint.
Higgins will do no better or worse in New York. As with Gomez, it will depend on his linemates.
The big winners here could be Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle. Both are natural centermen and swapping out a pivot for a winger can only improve their chances of becoming full-time NHLers this year.