The Trade that almost happened.
Todd Bertuzzi had been the subject of trade rumors since the beginning of the season. As the trade deadline drew near, the Canadiens were rumored to be one of the teams interested in his services. The Canadiens lack a big, strong power forward type of player and Bertuzzi is that kind of player. Considering his past and Vancouver’s desperation at several positions, Bertuzzi might have come at a bargain price.
Bertuzzi didn’t get traded but he was about as close as you can get. The Canadiens apparently made them an offer but it wasn’t attractive enough to send Bertuzzi over. The trade was to be announced the same time the Theodore news broke. Theodore gone, Bertuzzi in. A little better headline than Theodore gone, Aebischer a Hab.
Canucks GM Dave Nonis admitted their were several offers for Bertuzzi but none that he felt were strong enough. Gainey said something like “the deal for that type of player wasn’t there.”
The trade was to send underachieving forward Richard Zednik and an unnamed defenceman. Vancouver didn’t take it and you can’t really blame them. The unamed defenceman? Bob Gainey pre-acquired depth defenceman Todd Simpson to replace whomever it was that was to be dealt. If Vancouver took the deal before the last minute, Gainey and the Habs would have their replacement. It didn’t happen and no one knows when Todd Simpson will actually play.
You have to wonder what defenceman was on the block? Someone of value but not a core player. Mike Komisarek comes to mind.
Bertuzzi as a Canadien. That would definitely change the composition of the team up front. Would Bertuzzi be able to play here? Would Hab fans welcome him?
Say what you will about Bertuzzi but if he could take Richard Zednik’s spot on the roster I think most fans would welcome the change. For now we will never know, but the new financial space the Canadiens have to work with might make it an interesting off season for the Habs.