When it became apparent that Carey Price(notes) wouldn't be getting the keys to the kingdom despite winning out over Jaroslav Halak(notes), it also became apparent that there would be a new (cheaper!) veteran goalie on the Montreal Canadiens to push him next season. As general manager Pierre Gauthier said:
"I think we'll want to complement him with a good goaltender. ... You need two good goaltenders on the team, and we'll address that."
Late Tuesday, the Habs took a step to address it by trading the rights to RFA winger Sergei Kostitsyn(notes) and future considerations to the Nashville Predators for the rights to UFA goalie Dan Ellis(notes), the rights to RFA center Dustin Boyd(notes) and some more future considerations (per Bob McKenzie).
Many expected a goalie like Marty Biron would head up to Montreal for one season and spot-start for Price, who has also yet to re-sign as an RFA. Ellis, should he agree to a deal with the Habs, could start around 35 games or more. Biron would have been a complement; Ellis feels more like a competitor, and that's what a goalie like Price needs at this point in his maturation.
Plus, we all look forward to Ellis continuing to be hockey's Twitter MVP; does Montreal have 6-5 trannys in its grocery stores?
Boyd, who turns 24 on July 16, would seemingly be a perfect fit as a replacement for Glen Metropolit(notes) on the fourth line. At 6-foot, 187 pounds, Boyd is no giant, but he plays the game hard and has good speed with decent hands. He was credited with 81 hits in 78 games last season in just under 11 minutes of ice time per game. Offensively, he had 11 goals and 13 assists in 60 games with the Calgary Flames and 18 games with Nashville.
Finally ... Kostitsyn to the Predators. My, what a strange trip it's been.
From the underwhelming play to the Grabovski feud to the carousing with a felon to the demotion to the suspension, he's not exactly lived an unexamined life in Montreal. So should he sign with the Predators, it's a new start for the 23-year-old, and decent fit on a roster that could use some scoring on left wing. It's obviously addition by subtraction for Montreal, but perhaps he finds himself in Opryland and the Predators tap the untapped talent contained in this enigma.