February 23, 2010 :: 1:12pm ET
Canadiens subject of many trade rumors
By David Pagnotta, TheFourthPeriod.com

[TORONTO, ON] -- With the Mar. 3 trade deadline one week away, the Montreal Canadiens are quickly becoming a hot button issue around the hockey community.

Numerous unconfirmed reports have linked the Canadiens to a variety of trade scenarios, ranging from dealing one of its two goalies to being involved in suggested three-way deals.

While there are plenty of rumors floating around, frankly, I'm just happy the Vinny Lecavalier chatter has taken a back seat.

Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier is indeed working the phones and he and his staff are interested in completed a move or two before the deadline.

The Habs are in the market for a top-six forward and an upgrade on the blueline, and the club has acknowledged its willingness to part with some of its young, up-and-coming talent, such as Sergei Kostitsyn, Matt D'Agostini and Ben Maxwell.

Forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Benoit Pouliot are expected to return to the ice shortly after the Olympic break, with first-line sniper Mike Cammalleri set to see action in mid-March.

Gauthier has indicated several times that the team is extremely comfortable keeping both Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak, both of whom are in the final year of their respective contracts and can become restricted free agents July 1. However, the Habs are considering trade options involving Halak, though nothing appears to be close.

According to sources, the Canadiens are not extremely interested in acquiring a high-priced rental player, but prefer a younger talent signed beyond this season.

The Habs have been linked to Florida's Nathan Horton, who is currently injured, and St. Louis' Brad Boyes, among others, though their cap hit would require a multi-player trade to take form.

Gauthier, must like his 29 counterparts, are exploring all options leading up to the trade deadline. Teams have 63 hours from when the Olympic roster freeze is lifted to the deadline and all logical options are being considered.

David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period Magazine and covers the NHL for TheFourthPeriod.com. He is also a contributing writer for NBCSports.com and MSNBC.

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  Dec. 17, 2009 Kovalchuk dominates, contract talks continue
  Nov. 24, 2009 Pouliot finally arrives in Montreal
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