The Habs remain winless at home in the 2011-2012 season and despite everybody in the locker room taking a calm demeanor after the overtime loss against the Maple Leafs on Saturday, GM Pierre Gauthier made what some see as a panic move, or in others words, moves that show some sort of panic installing in the GMs' mind. The Habs sent recently returned Brock Trotter along with a 7th round draft pick in the next year's NHL entry draft for center Petteri Nokelainen and minor league defenseman Garrett Stafford.
The skinny on all these players?
Nokelainen, 25, has played five games for the Coyotes this season and had one assist. He was signed as an unrestricted free agent in May. He has played 189 games in the NHL so far with four different teams and has registered a total of 34 points (17g-17a) with 66 penalty minutes. He is a 6'1, 191 lbs center from Finland and was drafted 18th overall in 2004 by the NY Islanders.
Stafford, 31, had one goal and three assists in six games for Phoenix’s AHL affiliate in Portland this season. He is a career minor-leaguer who has played for three different NHL teams, but has spent most of his time with their AHL affiliates. The 6', 195 lbs defenseman has played a total of 7 games in the NHL (0G-2A-2P) and 572 (83G-234A-317P) in the AHL.
Trotter, 24, had two goals and five assists in five games this season for the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs after playing last year for Riga in the Kontinental Hockey League. He is a small centre, but a talented one none-the-less and had played only 2 games in the NHL so far with the Montreal Canadiens. His last season in the KHL was fruitful for him where he managed to get 26 points in 49 games.
So this is what it was. Trotter, who seemed to be off to a good start in the AHL will find himself with the Coyotes while the Habs get another under-achieving first round pick and a minor-leaguer defenseman.
GM Gauthier also sent Andreas Engqvist and Aaron Palushaj down to the Hamilton Bulldogs to make room for Petteri Nokelainen and recalled Michael Blunden from the Bulldogs to add some muscle on the fourth line. Are these efforts to beef up the fourth line with some toughness? After the way Price was knocked around in Saturday's game, maybe they should be looking for some muscles on the blue line first. Blunden who has played a total of 51 games in the NHL has registered 2 goals, 2 assists and 69 penalty minutes. He is 6'3" and weighs 207 pounds. It remains to be seen whether any of these new additions will manage to light a spark under the team to get them going.