On the eve of the Costless Agent frenzy which kicks off today, the Montreal Canadiens acquired Colorado Avalanche forward P.A. Parenteau and a 5th round draft pick in exchange for forward Daniel Briere. Both players are coming off down years statistically and will look to rebound with their new clubs next season.
Parenteau, had been on the Habs radar for quite some time. The Habs were linked to Parenteau at the trade deadline this year, possibly in a deal for forward Rene Bourque. That deal never came to fruition and Bourque, who had been struggling at the time, bounced back with a great effort in the playoffs.
Briere had a difficult season playing in his hometown under head coach Michel Therrien. He managed to come up with some big goals in the clutch, which has always been his forte, but for the most part it was a struggle. The diminutive forward fell victim to the numbers game in Montreal. The Habs roster already had too many small forwards, which made the Briere signing a head-scratcher in the first place. Therrien needed to have some grit for the grind of the playoffs. Briere’s ice-time dipped as a result.
Both players are slated to earn $4M this season with Parenteau locked in at $4M for 2015 as well. Parenteau has the skill-set to immediately jump into the Habs top six forward mix. The Canadiens playmakers upfront should benefit greatly from adding a sniper like Parenteau to the lineup. Briere, for his part, brings a veteran presence to an Avalanche squad loaded with young talent. Nathan Mackinnon, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog are destined for playoff success so adding Briere to the equation makes sense.
The Canadiens still have $17.5M in cap space as the Costless Agency window looms. The clock is ticking for GM Marc Bergevin to get P.K. Subban signed. Subban is a restricted costless agent, but the Habs should act now, or they will be forced to match the offer sheets that will surely come to Subban later today. If Subban is signed before the Costless Agency window opens, look for Bergevin to try to add some more size up front and possibly on the blue-line as well when the Costless Agent Frenzy kicks off at noon eastern time!