The Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes and Nashville Predators have teamed up for a rare three-way trade that sees at least four players on the move.
In a series of trades Friday afternoon, the Canadiens have acquired Pacific Division All-Star Game captain John Scott and defenseman Victor Bartley from the Coyotes in exchange for defenseman, and 2010 first-round pick, Jarred Tinordi as well as winger Stefan Fournier. In the deal, the Predators have picked up defenseman Stefan Elliott, himself a 2009 second-rounder.
The breakdown goes as follows, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. First, Nashville and Arizona swapped defensemen, as Bartley headed to the Coyotes and Elliott to the Predators. Once that deal was complete, the Canadiens sent Tinordi and Fournier the desert in exchange for Scott and Bartley.
First thing’s first, though: what does this mean for the All-Star Game?
What we do know is Scott’s no longer a member of the Pacific Division. Whether he’s still the Pacific Division captain might be up to the league. The NHL hasn’t yet released an update on what impact, if any, the trade will have on Scott’s as Pacific Division captain.
It doesn’t seem likely he’ll suit up in a Coyotes jersey at the event. There’s obviously a possibility he skips the game altogether, but other options could include recusing himself from the skills competition (players wear their home team jerseys), wearing an NHL branded sweater or even wear a Canadiens jersey and take part in the skills competition as a member of the Pacific in an Atlantic Division team’s uniform. That last one probably won’t happen, though.
This type of trade has happened before, though, so there is some precedent. ESPN’s Paul Lukas wrote in July 2014 about Sandis Ozolinsh and the 2003 All-Star Game. Ozolinsh made the Eastern Conference team but was traded to the Western Conference before the game. He played for the East at the game, but skipped the skills competition because he was asked to wear a Florida Panthers jersey. He was fined by the league.
It also happened in 1990 when Bernie Nicholls was dealt from the then-Campbell Conference Los Angeles Kings to the then-Wales Conference New York Rangers the day before the All-Star Game. Nicholls suited up for the Campbell Conference at the game.
Outside of what the deal means for Scott’s participation, the deal doesn’t appear to be one of major impact and it seems like an opportunity only for a few players to get some fresh starts. That rings especially true for Tinordi, who has played only 46 NHL games since the Canadiens took him 22nd overall in 2010.
Tinordi, 23, has all the size to be an impact player in the NHL, but he hasn’t gotten the chance in Montreal. He’s not a skillful puck mover, but he moves well for a 6-foot-6, 225-pound monster blueliner. And with Scott heading out of Arizona, Tinordi can bring the toughness to the lineup that the Coyotes may be looking for. And, of course, Tinordi has much more upside than the 33-year-old Scott.
Bartley, 27, has spent the past five seasons with the Predators organization. He was in and out of Nashville’s lineup over the past three campaigns, but slid down the depth chart and found himself in the AHL by December. He has one assist in 14 AHL games.
For Elliott, this is the second time he has been traded in the past five months, and he’s going to have a tough time moving up a crowded defensive depth-chart in Nashville. He’s only 24, though, and he could be a late-bloomer that turns into a depth player for the Predators. He got into 19 games with the Coyotes this season and notched two goals and six points, but averaged less than 15 minutes of ice time per game.
Fournier, 23, has never played a game in the NHL. He has five goals and seven points in the AHL this season.