Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens trade rumors: Habs interested in Paul Stastny?

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have an interesting situation on their hands with Paul Stastny. He’s a free agent at the end of this year and will be coming off of a five-year, $33 million contract that carried a $6.6 million cap hit each season. Results over the term of the deal have been mixed at best, and the 27-year-old is unlikely to see an extension along those same lines given his production over the life of the contract.

That really isn’t the question at hand though. The question is what should the Avalanche do with the center.

Adrian Dater of The Denver Post posed that same inquiry yesterday, and made some interesting points. Namely that the Montreal Canadiens “have been scouting the Avs heavily all season” and that they are apparently interested in Stastny. What would the Habs be willing to give up for the pending UFA though?

The center isn’t exactly a top-end superstar that could push Montreal over the edge as a Stanley Cup contender, but they’d clearly be a better team with Stastny on board. That’s where things get interesting, since Colorado is also one of the top teams in the NHL right now and has been thriving with the three-pronged center attack from Matt Duchene, Stastny and Nathan MacKinnon.

If the Avs keep Stastny, it’ll force MacKinnon to remain the No. 3 pivot on the team for the foreseeable future or Patrick Roy could move him to the wing. That experiment hasn’t worked particularly well this season though, which is another wrinkle moving forward.

Pure speculation on our part, but the moving pieces seem to indicate that Colorado could afford to move Stastny, especially if they received an upgrade on the blue line for him.

Tags: Montreal Canadiens NHL NHL Trade Rumors Paul Stastny