Audio: Habs make late deal to get Vanek from Islanders; Tokarski to start against Ducks

• AUDIO: Thomas Vanek teleconference

As Wednesday’s 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline seemed to have passed, the Canadiens had made only one move, acquiring goalie Devan Dubnyk from the Nashville Predators in exchange for future considerations.

But shortly after the clock struck 3, news broke that the Habs had acquired left-winger Thomas Vanek from the New York Islanders in a last-minute deal just before the deadline. The Canadiens also get a conditional fifth-round draft pick from the Islanders this year in exchange for prospect Sebastian Collberg and a conditional second-round draft pick this year. Collberg was selected by the Canadiens in the second round (33rd overall) at the 2012 NHL entry draft.

In 60 games this season with Buffalo and the Islanders, the 6-foot, 217-pound Vanek has 21-32-53 totals and is minus-1. The 30-year-old is in the final season of a seven-year, $50-million contract that pays him $6.4 million this season with a $7.14-million cap hit.

“Wow, what great news for our team,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told reporters in Anaheim after the Vanek trade was made. “I look at that move as a sign of confidence from (general manager) Marc Bergevin to the players for the work they’ve put in since the start of the season. It’s a really exciting addition. It’s important for us to continue doing what we’ve been doing all year now. Thomas Vanek is a prolific scorer who can play on the right side or the left. We all know what he can bring to a power play, too.”

Vanek, who will wear No. 20 with Montreal, won’t be in the lineup Wednesday night when the Canadiens play the Ducks (10 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690), but is expected to play Thursday when the Habs visit the Phoenix Coyotes (9 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

“Right now, I’m just excited to be playing for Montreal,” Vanek told reporters on a conference call, adding it has been a tough year for him and his family as he heads toward free agency.

“I came to Montreal so many times with the Sabres,” he added. “I always loved playing at the Bell Centre, the atmosphere is so electric there.”

The Dubnyk deal was reported just before 1 p.m. and the goaltender was assigned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

The Canadiens announced following their morning skate in Anaheim (which started at 2:30 p.m. ET) that Dustin Tokarski will make his first start in goal for Montreal against the Ducks.

Lars Eller will be a healthy scratch, with George Parros – who spent much of his career in Anaheim – taking Eller’s spot in the roster. Parros will be on the fourth line with Travis Moen and Ryan White. Defenceman Mike Weaver, acquired from the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, won’t be in the lineup against the Ducks. Brandon Prust (upper body) and Michael Bournival (concussion) wore no-contact jerseys for the morning skate and won’t be in the lineup against the Ducks.

Habs GM Marc Bergevin wasn’t expected to speak with the media following the trade deadline. Bergevin was in Chicago Wednesday for the funeral for his mother-in-law, who died on the weekend. The GM is planning to hook up with the team Thursday in Phoenix and speak with the media then.

Carey Price took part in the Canadiens’ morning skate in Anaheim but won’t dress for the fifth consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. Peter Budaj, who started the last four games, will be the backup to Tokarski.

Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at the morning skate:



Dubnyk, a 6-foot-6, 210-pounder, started the season with the Edmonton Oilers. The 27-year-old was Edmonton’s first-round pick (14th overall) at the 2004 NHL entry draft. The Predators acquired Dubnyk from Edmonton on Jan. 15 in exchange for forward Matt Hendricks.

In 34 games this season, Dubnyk has an 11-18-3 record with two shutouts, a 3.43 goals-against average and a .891 save percentage. In 173 career games, he has a record of 61-77-22 with eight shutouts, a 2.90 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.

The first major trade of NHL Trade Deadline Day was reported after 11 a.m. with the Tampa Bay Lightning sending Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan Callahan along with a second round draft pick this year and a first round pick next year.

Earlier in the day, TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reported on Twitter that the Canadiens were trying to deal Rene Bourque with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche interested. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos also reported on Twitter that the Canadiens were shopping Lars Eller around.

This week’s HI/O Show will be taped Thursday with former Canadien Chris Nilan joining Gazette columnist Dave Stubbs and sports editor/host Stu Cowan to discuss the moves made at the trade deadline. The show will be available on HI/O around 5 p.m. Thursday.

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Official NHL trade tracker,

Habs acquire Vanek from Islanders, by The Gazette’s Pat Hickey

Vanek deal goes down to the wire, by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs

Canadiens vs. Ducks preview,

Game Day Report,

It’s all business for Vanek,

Canadiens make bold move trading for Vanek,

TradeCentre Recap,

Weaver changing on the fly with Habs,

Ducks strike out in hunt for big targets, Orange County Register


  1. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Trade a forward already…

  2. D Mex says:

    Diaz to NYR for 5th in 2015

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

  3. Mick says:

    is our manager alive?Hello

  4. habs-fan-84 says:

    aaaaand we’re back

  5. habsfan0 says:

    No Yakupov?
    I’m stunned.

  6. BriPro says:

    Was I temporarily black-listed?
    I kept getting URL messages.

    Luc Gelinas has confirmed that Eller will be a healthy scratch tonight.
    Although there were rumours surrounding Eller and a trade, he says the MB was not willing to part with the young C…. not yet, anyhow.

  7. Mattyleg says:

    Yikes, who could forget to feed the hamsters on TRADEDEADLINEDAY??

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  8. Hobie Hansen says:


  9. mdp2011 says:

    Chris Botta ‏@ChrisBottaNHL now
    Repeating from earlier: watch out for the Montreal Canadiens.

  10. Hobie Hansen says:

    Аrpon Basu ‏@ArponBasu 11s

    This is getting intriguing RT @ChrisBottaNHL: Repeating from earlier: watch out for the Montreal Canadiens.

  11. DipsyDoodler says:

    Tim Thomas to Dallas.

    Good move for him.

    The Texas Tea Party is the Chicago Blackhawks of Tea Parties.

    Moving. Forward.

  12. Mattyleg says:

    Looks like Eller is scratched for tonight.

    …worked for DD…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  13. veryhabby says:

    Wow only 30 min left and only 9 deals today. On last years quiet day there was 17!!

    Lots of good names still out there. Teams asking too much, if the player is a UFA and you are out….get what you can. Dummies! lol. Like trade us Moulson for Bourque lol!

  14. mdp2011 says:

    Habs beat reporters in Cali reporting Eller skating on the 5th line. So either he is a healthy scratch tonight or he is getting dealt?

  15. Sportfan says:

    lol saw this on twitter
    Luongo vs. Backup controversy (Vancouver): Solved in 24 months Luongo vs. Backup controversy (Florida): Solved in 24 hours

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  16. FlyingFrenchie says:

    MB cannot trade Borque

  17. Hobie Hansen says:

    Arash Madani ‏@ArashMadani 1m

    The Canadiens are getting their morning skate on in Anaheim (play the Ducks tonight). Andrei Markov is on the ice. No alarm bells here.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Interesting. Apparently no trade, and no contract in place (unlike with Phillips). I guess they are just going to play out the season and see where it goes? Try to get a deal before July 1. Cause getting one after July 1 will be very difficult….

  18. Sportfan says:

    If Bourque is on the ice does that mean no more trades?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  19. BriPro says:

    Oilers Nick Scholtz is gone to the Blue Jackets

  20. BriPro says:

    The Stars have picked up Tim Thomas.
    I guess there was too much room for him and Loooo in Florida.

  21. Hobie Hansen says:

    I’ve been following Twitter all day waiting for a big Habs trade. This is the only interesting thing I’ve seen all day!

    Jim Lahey ‏@Mr_Lahey_ 21m


  22. shiram says:


    Tim Thomas headed to DAL. #Tradecentre

    Luongo’s reaction :

    Strombone ‏@strombone1

    @TSNBobMcKenzie NOOOO!!!!!!!!

    • krob1000 says:

      well than it isn’t true according to this site…or they already knew..whatever…pretty interesting almost every trade gets broke by Dreger or Bobby Mac and they still get blasted on here. Pretty strange actually.

    • Alex_425 says:

      Stupid move.

      They probably hate each other. Is there not a better way to get two goalies to up their games and play 110% for that starting job?

  23. Prop says:

    Still not blowed up???
    What’s goin on here!?!?


  24. SnowManHabs85 says:

    There goes another goal scorer… Habs looking more and more like lil engine that could….uh…maybe not…

  25. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    I will be disappointed if a forward is not at least moved. There are too many.

  26. ClutchNGrab says:

    I think Phil Esposito has some apologies to do. For those who don’t know what I’m referring to:

  27. Stevie.Ray says:

    Montreal scores the biggest player of the day for nothing. #DriveFor25

  28. SmartDog says:

    Any more small guys out there we can pick up before the deadline?

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  29. zorro says:

    Great! of all days, MB is out of town at his mother in laws funeral.

  30. Sportfan says:

    Rumor nothing more but someone said Bourtque and a third for Clifford would that be worth it?

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  31. Alex_425 says:

    And Ruutu was a name I got used to always seeing whenever we played Carolina. Not anymore.

    Was he considered one of the official Habs killers of Carolina, along with Cole and LaRose, back then?

    At least I THINK LaRose was one.

  32. thehabsfan29 says:

    Vanek to Pit for Sutter 1st

  33. PeterD says:

    Common MB…just move Bourque for a pick…DO IT!

  34. Un Canadien errant says:

    There’s no panic to trade Ryan Kesler if the Canucks’ price is not being met. They should hold on to him and get a bigger return at the draft. He’ll still be in high demand due to having a contract with two more years at an attractive cap hit.

    Marian Gaborik and Matt Moulson, and Mike Cammalleri to a lesser extent, are a different situation. They’re UFA’s this July, once the deadline hits, they’re essentially worthless to the organization.

    My sources are unreliable, but their info is fascinating.–Woody Paige

    • Cal says:

      Vanek, too.
      Buffalo has to move him.

    • Habcouver says:

      It seems whenever they interview Kesler, his words and body language indicates he just doesn’t want to be in Vancouver. His radio commercial for wireless communication is more enthusiastic.

      I’m glad for Luongo that he’s out of jokeland.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a different GM trading Kesler from the Canucks at draft time. Gillis has really made some bone headed moves.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I can kind of understand every move he’s pulled, there were no facepalms in the group, the situations dictated what he had to do. But it’s a results-based business, and his results don’t add up. He keeps rolling the dice, and coming up snake-eyes.

        Zack Kassian, John Tortorella, Cory Schneider, now Lou, every move has underwhelmed or not turned out.

  35. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    In 7 games at the World Championships Dubnyk only let in 8 goals. That’s good, right? I mean, the WC is just a step below the Olympics, isn’t it? He got a shutout against Moldova. Mind you, they’re not exactly a hockey powerhouse but a shutout is shutout. I hear he’s good in the room too. And he’s from Saskatchewan. Moen’s from there so at least he’ll have someone to talk wheat prices with. Hey, you gotta be positive, right? #@&$&!@#!!!!

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Like I said previously, we got him for free, and he gets to go to Waite University. No downside here.

      • shiram says:

        Does Waite work with the goalies in Hamilton?
        I mean he can’t be there for every practice…

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Correct, but Stéphane Waite did explain previously that he works with all the goalies in the organization. I agree that he won’t spend as much time with the Hamilton boys, but hopefully he can get him pointed in the right direction in the sessions they do have.

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      Easy, big fella – he’s been assigned to Hamilton, and the Preds pick up part of his salary. No real damage done with this move. No improvement either, but…chin up, and all that.

    • monmick says:

      You never have too many Saskatchewan players on your team…

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  36. DickandDanny says:

    Marcel Goc would have looked good in a Habs jersey. The guy competes. Better fit than Eller and a few others. But, as usual our GM is asleep at the wheel.

    “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Dale Tallon, the wide-awake GM of the Panthers, may not be so keen to trade Marcel Goc to another team in his division.

      • DickandDanny says:

        Division, or conference what’s the difference? I don’t see your point.

        “A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur”

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          1) Fewer games against opponents outside your division.

          2) You fight within your division for Top 3 status to get into the playoffs. Within the Conference is less of a concern, you’re fighting with those guys for a wildcard #7 and #8 slot.

      • Luke says:

        This is reasoning I haven’t gone all squirrely about McNabb being traded. Doubtful Buffalo wants to see him next to Tinordi for the next 10 years.
        (Although, McDavid will just dart around them…)

  37. Dunboyne Mike says:

    You know when you wonder where do sparrows go when it’s really cold? Or butterflies in the rain?

    Where did all the tradedeadline a. retentive posters go? And there’s still an hour to go? EOTP? TSN comments page?

    Congrats to ML, Larue, habsfanO et al. You are The Life of Brian in the Vatican.

  38. filincal says:

    Any word on the line-up tonight, will Weaver be playing?


  39. shiram says:

    So the Dubber went to Hamilton, a nice vote of confidence for Toker!
    And Dubby should be good enough in the AHL.

    Gotta instill that winning culture in Hamilton.

  40. RetroMikey says:

    We could have got C Marcel Goc from Florida.
    I’ve always campaigned when Bobby was GM on this site when he was a GM to sign this guy.
    Good move for Pittsburgh but it won’t help them in the playoffs for short term.
    We could have traded for Eller to get this guy and he would have helped more on the C position and could have traded Plekanec as well.
    We ain’t doing anything to trade Markov, Gionta or Briere as well.
    Sad day for Habs fans who want a winner built on this franchise but most are content to see this team intact that won’t amount to anything in seasons to come if we didn’t tank some players.
    We are a bottom feeder team for years to come.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  41. Un Canadien errant says:

    I hate that the Bruins picked up Corey Potter. I know he’s worthless and useless since he was waived by the Oilers, but I worry that they can plug him in their system and improve their powerplay while compensating for his shortcomings.

    He was a big right-handed defenceman who can skate with the puck, I wondered if the Canadiens would nab him, but evidently they didn’t.

  42. habs_54321 says:

    alex edler too bruins being discussed

    • Habcouver says:

      That would be scary. Elder has not been playing to his potential in Nuckland. He can dish crushing checks, and the Booins would likely be the right dose of motivation for him.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

  43. Phil C says:

    It’s really coming down to the wire this year. Lots of big names still available.

  44. BriPro says:

    Marty St Louis Rangers jersey already on sale in NYC.

  45. DipsyDoodler says:

    Sorry to keep picking on Dreger but it’s approaching the level of performance art:

    ‏@DarrenDreger 25m
    Lou Lamoriello true to form is not sharing his position with Brodeur or anyone else. They spoke this am, but no sense of direction.

    Moving. Forward.

  46. DipsyDoodler says:

    The goalie with the best save % (having played over 30 games) this year is Ben Bishop.

    Ottawa just waived the guy they got for him.

    Moving. Forward.

    • Habcouver says:

      Looks good on the Sens.
      Guessing the Walrus wasn’t a fan of #89.

      We Are (Not) All Canucks.
      Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • piper says:

      yep, they should have dealt Anderson and went with the kids. The return could have been good.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Yesterday, one funny poster created a new word when trades like that happen.
      It’s called getting ” Holmgrened”

      One of many examples how getting”Holmgrened” came about:
      “Patrick Sharp and Éric Meloche traded by Philadelphia to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2005, for Matt Ellison and a 3rd-round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.”
      Ellison played…7 games for the Flyers

    • scamorza says:

      yes noticed that big mistake on their part

      come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Many here have speculated PG had a big part in the Gomez trade, perhaps Tim Murray was the architect of that trade, and thus the reason Ottawa had no issues letting him move on.

  47. Habcouver says:

    An hour left, I’ll be surprised if Habs do anymore dealing.

    We Are (Not) All Canucks.
    Proudly Canadian but passionately Canadien!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I’m feeling something is about to happen, but it could be completely unrelated to my HabsInsider spidey senses. Should never have had a Roti on TRADEDEADLINEDAY.

  48. Sportfan says:

    LOL the selfie

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  49. Maritime Ronn says:

    TSN gang now taking ‘selfies.’
    Looks like they really miss Jay Onrait….

  50. Luke says:

    Lucky Number Devan!

    (Too Late? Have we moved on? We probably moved on. I’ll just move on.)

  51. Habfan17 says:

    Either MB is working out something big, or he is done. Only one hour to go, then we watch as the trades that were completed before 3:00pm get posted.

  52. WVHabsfan says:

    @piter. Mike Condon from Wheeling Nailers

  53. BriPro says:

    And the Devils just picked up Ruutu.

  54. tyshow89 says:

    would like to see ruttu, moulson or stewart without giving up the farm

    • Big Buffy Boat Club says:

      Ahhh Ruutu makes way too much money.

      “Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of the women.”

  55. BriPro says:

    Pittsburg just picked up Goc from Florida.

  56. CH Marshall says:

    After my initial panic, I think Waite can work with Dubnyk and make a decent goalie out of him.

  57. Paz says:

    Well at least my little dog got a nice cut at the groomers, so the day was not all lost.

    My best friend for sure!

  58. Mattyleg says:

    I love how, for some people, TRADEDEADLINEDAY is yet another opportunity for office-space one-upmanship and posturing.

    “The Habs need to make BIG MOVES, or else I’m going to be embarrassed at work when everyone else is “BOOYAH”ing, and I’ve only got stupid Devan Dubnyk…”

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  59. sirs81 says:

    If your a GM do you randomly call you guys today just to freak them out a little bit 😀

    • Mattyleg says:


      LE: “He..hello…?”
      MB: “Lars. Marc here. Marc Bergevin.”
      LE: “Oh, hi, hi-hi-hi… Hello…”
      MB: “How are you today?”
      LE: “Okay. GREAT. I’m great. Really ready for tonight’s game….gonnascorebiggoals…
      MB: “Mm-hmm.”
      LE: “Yup. Yep. yepyepyep.”
      MB: “Okay. Listen…”
      LE: “….”
      MB: “I just wanted to thank you for that collage you made for me the other day. I have it up in my office. I’m not there right now, of course, but I took a photo of it, and I’m looking at it right now.”
      LE: (faints)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HabinBurlington says:

      @Sirs and Matty, excellent!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      An evil mind? I love it! Funny stuff! 🙂

  60. Davey93 says:

    If price is out for a long time, which seems likely, it’d make sense to unload some guys like Markov and gionta. No chance of doing anything in the playoffs without price. Time to build for the future.

  61. twilighthours says:

    I’m back. Should I be angry, upset, or utterly disgusted with Bergevin?

  62. piter says:

    Who did Hamilton bring in to cover for the “Toker” while he’s with the big club? Too lazy to look it up myself. Anyone?

  63. bwoar says:

    Well, at least it wasn’t Gainey’s trade, he would’ve given up a 2nd round pick. Going against the grain maybe but I see some untapped potential in Dubnyk.

  64. Je ne comprends pas says:

    The end
    👿 😈 👿

  65. Mattyleg says:

    Gotta feel bad for Dubby.
    I heard he had his heart set on playing for the Milwaukee Admirals.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  66. Sportfan says:

    BOOOO that’s all I have to say

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  67. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Your Montreal Canadiens: forever the ugly girl at the big dance that no one wants to dance with.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  68. Paz says:

    Doobie looks like a novice goalie in the photo.

    His head is down, his glove is up, the puck is going in under the cross bar.

  69. JUST ME says:

    I can`t believe some teams can be that naive to still take a chance on a guy like Gaborik. Sure he has been unlucky health wise and his stats are up ther, he has skills talent but soooo not reliable when comes the time to be a leader. At his price tag he should be number one. After all the teams he has done you would think people would understand. L.A. can afford to have a passenger i guess…

    Funny how some want Vanek from one hand and get rid of Bourque from the other hand. Vanek has all the talent in the world but otherwise has the same down sides as Bourque.

    O.K. move to get Dubnyk because farm team is desperatly empty in goals… Until Fucale graduates.

    • Forum Dog says:

      Not sure about the Vanek-Bourque comparison. Vanek has scored 40 multiple times, and has averaged 30 throughout his career. Bourque has scored 27 twice. Big difference in the skill of these two players. Both are fairly soft, that much is true, but Vanek can play on your top line, top PP and put the puck in the net.

  70. Bim says:

    Dubnyk? Really?…Really? Has the stick boy quit in Hamilton? I thought in the words of MB..”if we have a chance to make our club better I will do that”. Do you call this better? OMG this is embarrassing!

  71. piper says:

    This means Price is out for a while so Habs will gone in the first round. A smart GM would trade his UFAs today.

  72. HABitual Fan says:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the Sens missed the playoffs by one game, the 2pts they gave up to A. Hemsky and the a Oilers last night. They should have had him pulled in between periods!!! 🙂

  73. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Next trade MB will make is Cammy for Bourque + 3rd round pick 😛

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