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:

Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher
Gionta-Plekanec-Galchenyuk
Weise-Brière-Bourque
Moen-White-Parros
Prust-Eller-Bournival

Subban-Gorges
Emelin-Markov
Tinordi-Murray
Weaver-Bouillon

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, NHL.com

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, NHL.com

Game Day Report, Canadiens.com

It’s all business for Vanek, Canadiens.com

Canadiens make bold move trading for Vanek, NHL.com

TradeCentre Recap, TSN.ca

Weaver changing on the fly with Habs, Canadiens.com

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

1,902 Comments

  1. icemachine says:

    Whoa

    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 48s
    Vanek to Montreal in exchange for a 2nd round pick and a prospect

  2. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Don’t say Beaulieau or Tinner…..

  3. arya13 says:

    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 21s
    Vanek to Montreal in exchange for a 2nd round pick and a prospect

    BEAUTIFUL! What a steal.

  4. habsfan2014 says:

    Well done Bergevin!!!

  5. SnowManHabs85 says:

    2nd rd pick + prospect for Vanek??? :D

  6. Hockey Bob says:

    Vanek? meh! plays when he wants to.

  7. habs11s says:

    2nd and a ‘prospect
    _____________________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  8. Dulljerk says:

    Apparently Eller not involved in Vanek trade.

    No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  9. mdp2011 says:

    Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun 27s
    Vanek to Montreal in exchange for a 2nd round pick and a prospect
    Reply Favorite Retweet

  10. Grimmly says:

    2nd and a prospect THATS IT???

  11. AllHailTheFlower says:

    *crosses fingers and whispers* “Not for Eller, not for Eller”

  12. RetroMikey says:

    Vanek to Montreal…..

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

  13. Forum Dog says:

    Awesome if true, though I’ll wait to see the details. Vanek would be a beauty playing with Pleks and Galchenyuk….

  14. Ozmodiar says:

    wut?

    Fucale + 1st?
    (a guess)

  15. Mavid says:

    For Lars…????

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  16. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    FINALLLLLY!!!!!

  17. desertman says:

    Plan the Parade!!!!!

  18. Dulljerk says:

    If we got Vanek, Eller is gone.

    No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  19. HabinBurlington says:

    Why do I think the Eller debate may have just ended……

    VANEK A HAB

    CONFIRMED

  20. Cal says:

    Vanek to the Habs?

  21. habsfaninboston says:

    Holy shite! Vanek to Habs?
    What did that cost us?

  22. HabsLifer says:

    L’espoir du Canadien Tim Bozon dans un état critique. Hope he’ll recover from meningitis. More info available from RDS!

    ———————————
    Claude Provost Rocked!

  23. Hstands4Hockey says:

    Vanek to Habs CONFIRMED

    ——————————————————————–
    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
    @Hstands4Hockey

  24. Storm Man says:

    I will run a run the city naked if we got him!!!!

  25. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Vanek to Habs? TSN speculating!

  26. Mick says:

    Hello,
    is our manager alive?Hello
    Vanek.???

  27. SC27 says:

    Thomassss Vanekkkk!!!

  28. Harditya says:

    HABS GOT VANEK? OMGGGG

  29. Thurston says:

    Huh?

    Sean Gordon ‏@MrSeanGordon 1m
    WOW RT @DamoSpin: Doug MacLean confirms Vanek to MTL #Sportsnet

  30. habs-fan-84 says:

    Vanek to Habs

    …damn I was just starting to find the comments regarding MB funny

  31. DipsyDoodler says:

    Vanek to us?

    —–
    Moving. Forward.

  32. B says:

    Vanek a Hab?

    –Go Habs Go!–

  33. scarboro_habitant says:

    vanek a hab?!?!?!

  34. Hobie Hansen says:

    Conor McKenna ‏@mckennaconor 30s
    Doug MacLean says the Habs got Vanek.

  35. L Elle says:

    Couldn’t log on to HIO for quite a while, I thought the Mother of all Blockbuster trades had shut this place down…I guess not. ;)

    Edit: Maybe yes, Vanek?

  36. desertman says:

    vanek to montreal per doug maclean

  37. habs_54321 says:

    so we are stuck with eller and the logjam at center.

  38. mdp2011 says:

    BOOM!!
    Damien Cox ‏@DamoSpin 9s
    Doug MacLean confirms Vanek to MTL #Sportsnet

  39. Storm Man says:

    Hold on Habs not done??? Damn it’s like Christmas here.

  40. on2ndthought says:

    Vanek to Habs

    “a cannonading drive”

    • Hstands4Hockey says:

      Vanek’s been traded and Montreal has another deal to announce…..that’s what we know.

      ——————————————————————–
      Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
      @Hstands4Hockey

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Vanek to Habs? Buddy just emailed me, is he kidding?

    I’m very close to Confirming, but the Roti is still not cleared.

  42. Ron says:

    Basu says hold on habs not done ??

  43. shiram says:

    No takers for Cammy.

  44. desertman says:

    vanek to the ducks

  45. Hstands4Hockey says:

    Moulson to Minnesota CONFIRMED.

    ——————————————————————–
    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
    @Hstands4Hockey

  46. dano58 says:

    Even Vancouver didn’t want Diaz as he was swapped for warm future bodies.

    GO HABS GO!!!

    “Always looking to better my team as long as it’s in the image of myself so I can re-live my career through my trades of d-men”-M/B

  47. Hstands4Hockey says:

    Vanek Traded. CONFIRMED (Bob Mckenzie and Elliot Friedman)

    ——————————————————————–
    Rule #76: No Excuses, Play Like a Champion!
    @Hstands4Hockey

    • Mattyleg says:

      Confirm…. THIS!!!

      (actually, you’ll have to see what I’m doing for this to make any sense. I’m downtown Montreal, maybe we could meet up…)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  48. BJ says:

    Was 3:00 PM the deadline?

  49. Hobie Hansen says:

    Arthur Staple ‏@StapeNewsday 52s
    #Isles have traded Thomas Vanek, source says. Waiting to hear where and what’s coming back.

  50. Mattyleg says:

    Oh boy, oh boy.

    My official Favourite TRADEDEADLINEDAY comment:
    (and this is truly an honour, considering you are up there with Bobbo, ‘The Dregs’, and other Trusted Insiders who are actually paid to churn out these sorts of things)

    Volcano62: [after trade deadline day] “We are more mediocre than ever at best.”

    This is truly a shining moment.
    Please accept my heartfelt congratulations, and accept this virtual beer:
    c[]

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  51. Ron says:

    Stubbs says Bozon in critical condition.

  52. B says:

    Price apparently the only Hab not practicing today, was yesterday’s light skating was too much / too soon?

    –Go Habs Go!–

  53. Maritime Ronn says:

    Weise > 5th pick.

  54. volcano62 says:

    For the love of god, not one of the other 29 teams are interested in Markov, Bourque, Moen, Gionta, Bouillon, Desharnais? I don’t blame them.

  55. Un Canadien errant says:

    Biggest surprise of the day: Mark Masters is married?!

  56. Ron says:

    Looks like the Toker gets the start tonight..

  57. Habilis says:

    Tokarski starting tonight. Eller scratched.

    Should be interesting at any rate.

  58. Curtoph says:

    Lars Eller scratched tonight /popcorn

  59. Hobie Hansen says:

    So it looks like a lot of GMs didn’t do much today…

  60. HabinBurlington says:

    @Matty, I tried to let it go I really did, but then the hamsters started working again and I saw this:

    A. BerkeMARCH 5, 2014 AT 3:02 PM
    Will work for Eller too if MT puts EGG line back.

    Ali B.

    REPLY

    MattylegMARCH 5, 2014 AT 3:04 PM
    That’s the only thing that works for Larry, eh?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    Uhhmmm, so tell me which line combinations worked for DD when he didn’t have Max?

    • Mattyleg says:

      Nothing worked for him at all.
      He was slumping.

      Similarly to how Eller is now, but we can’t take apart the only line consistently contributing offense.

      Eller has been with Galchenyuk for most of the season, and I think it’s silly to think that the only thing that will make Eller productive is to put Gallagher on that line.

      That’s all.

      I appreciate your restraint, Burl! :)

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • HabinBurlington says:

        So just to CONFIRM, DD did require Max be a part of his line then in order to help him?

        • Mattyleg says:

          Max needed DD!
          Joanie loves Chachi, y’know…

          -edit- And I’m not saying that Eller is any less good if he needs two other specific wingers to be productive, but I just don’t believe that Gallagher is the solution to what is ailing Eller. It’s between his own ears, and he needs to show that he can be productive in any situation, not just in one, because I believe he can be.
          Now that DD is out of his slump, he doesn’t need Max to produce.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Paz says:

          There are 29 teams in this league who are not interested in Desharnais.

          They never have been and they never will be.

        • Ozmodiar says:

          So hard to get an answer to that question, innit?

  61. FlyingFrenchie says:

    Not MB’s fault. Nobody wants our players….Perhaps he can trade himself and his coach.

  62. Storm Man says:

    What a HUGE trade deadline day for the Habs I don’t how to keep from having a happy face all day no way we don’t win the cup this year.

  63. mchenske4 says:

    Another trade deadline…another year sittin’ on the sidelines
    We remain….offensively challenged :(

  64. Cal says:

    Diaz to the Rangers? Muahahahahhahahahha!

  65. volcano62 says:

    LOL diaz to the rangers

  66. Habfan17 says:

    Diaz now a Ranger!
    Habfan17

  67. GrimJim says:

    Van traded Diaz for a 5th rd pick

  68. Stevie.Ray says:

    Tim Bozon is in critical condition with Nierssia Meningidis. Very scary.

  69. piter says:

    Eller scratched tonight

  70. Je ne comprends pas says:

    I fully comprehend. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

  71. CranbrookEd says:

    From the Kootenay Ice home page: http://www.kootenayice.net/article/update-on-tim-bozon

    Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League and the Kootenay Ice hockey club today provided an update on Kootenay Ice player and Montreal Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon.

    Tim Bozon was admitted to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon on Saturday March 1 and has been diagnosed with Neisseria Meningitis. Tim’s parents, Phillippe and Helene Bozon, have been with him at the hospital in Saskatoon since arriving on Sunday from their home in Cureglia, Switzerland. The family has indicated to the WHL that Tim’s condition is critical.

    Public health officials are in the process of reviewing the case to ensure all the necessary precautions are taken and anyone who had direct contact with the player receives appropriate treatment.

    The WHL requests the privacy of the family be respected during this most difficult time.

    CranbrookEd
    Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . .

  72. volcano62 says:

    The poll asking is Gionta should be resigned should give a wake up call to “management”. Trade deadline is over and we are more mediocre than ever at best. I give up.

  73. scarboro_habitant says:

    ***BREAKING NEWS***

    MB has taken cover is his montreal bomb shelter.

  74. Thurston says:

    Mark Spector ‏@SportsnetSpec 46s
    NYR gets Raphael Diaz for a 5th in 2015 from Canucks.

    The Diaz era is over in Vancouver!


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