The Canadiens website has some cool video on P.A. Parenteau getting his first tour of the training facility in Brossard. We've seen a lot of this behind-the-scenes stuff on 24CH, but it's nice to take the tour regardless. A great insight on the value of David Desharnais, and potential for chemistry with him is when the discussion turns to Mr. Parenteau's stall location in the dressing room, and he points at David's stall and requests: "Don't put me too far from him..."
As we've discussed before, the Canadiens have some hurdles in attracting some of the best talent to Montréal, but increasingly, some strong selling points, with a modern, approachable management team, and a culture of winning. The New Forum, and the training facility are top-notch, and that has to play into it when the players talk to each other, how their working conditions are A-1 in Montréal, that the team will go above and beyond to ensure nothing stands in the way of winning games.
There are still fans questioning why P.A. Parenteau got dealt by Colorado. Some argue that the trade must be a trap, as in how could the Avalanche have been so desperate to trade their right wing for so little return? I think the rationale for Colorado to make the trade to acquire Daniel Brière isn't immediately obvious, but there are a few things we can go on as fans without the behind-the-scenes knowledge.
The main one is Stan Kroenke, who as has been pointed out is beyond wealthy, but was a 'hawk' for the owners during the lockout, and is relatively penurious when budgeting for his team. So Joe Sakic wanted to get out of the P.A. Parenteau contract, but couldn't buy him out, so flipping him for Daniel Brière saved him a year of salary.
Also, the Avs lost Paul Stasny, a centreman, and gained a right wing in Jarome Iginla in free agency. Now the timing doesn't line up quite right, since Mr. Iginla's deal was only announced on July 2, but they may have seen this developing, and felt that they should strengthen the centre line, and could part with an offensive RW, already having Alex Tanguay there, who's still productive if healthy. Especially if the Avs decide to stack one line like the Penguins do and put both their star centres on the same line (Crosby-Malkin, Duchesne-McKinnon), they'll need another centre who can play second or third line, or second wave of the power play.
We had the 'opposite' problem, in that we already have a glut of centreman, so Daniel Brière was a poor fit. I'm quoting Gaston Therrien again here, but he repeated throughout the season that that latter had been signed with the understanding and intent that he'd play right wing, but that never worked out. He wasn't comfortable or effective there, and ended up at centre on the fourth line.
So we had two teams swapping misfit toys, but the Avalanche were a little more desperate to sell than we were, so we got an extra shiny fifth-round pick out of the deal for Trevor Timmins to dazzle us with again.
Personally, I like the trade, I've had P.A. Parenteau on my fantasy teams for a few seasons now, and he's relatively consistent and productive. I'm hoping that his friendship with David Desharnais turns into on-ice chemistry. The fact that he also played with Brandon Prust and Dale Weise in the Rangers system means we had access to intel on him.
The fact that he landed in Patrick Roy's doghouse isn't great, I worry about that a little, but maybe the management team applied the same logic they did to the Ryan White situation, that "sometimes a student needs a different teacher," and vice-versa.
And in retrospect, how happy are we that the René Bourque for P.A. Parenteau rumoured trade never happened last season?
René Bourque, for all his inconsistency, is still a big strong fast winger who doesn't kill us when he's in a funk, he adds to the team by his mere presence in the roster rather than adding to our problems. At $3.3M per year, he's affordable.
Daniel Brière on the other hand exacerbated some of the issues we faced with lack of size and physicality in our lineup, and had a cap hit that was out of line with his contribution to the team.
Mr. Parenteau isn't a bruiser, but he's got decent size and will be able to push back to a greater extent than Mr. Brière. He's younger, and we didn't have to swap a winger for a winger and end up where we started.
I didn't believe the initial rumours around the trade deadline, feared that trading René Bourque to Colorado for P.A. Parenteau could have been a move we'd regret. I feel much more comfortable with the deal we ended up making. We do end up receiving P.A. Parenteau in a trade, but he comes with a fifth-rounder now, and not at the cost of René Bourque but rather Daniel Brière.
Great trade, getting value in return for our surplus.