Montreal Canadiens trades negotiating rights of James Wisniewski to Columbus Blue Jackets –NHL Update
It has become more of a trend around the National Hockey League (NHL) to trade the negotiating rights of a player to another team before the annual free agency begins if talks do not go as planned.
Montreal Canadiens continued the tradition and dealt the negotiating rights of defenseman, James Wisniewski, to Columbus Blue Jackets for a seventh-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Wisniewski, a 2002, 156th overall draft pick by Chicago Blackhawks, played four seasons before being traded to Anaheim Ducks and then New York Islanders in 2010 before being shifted to Montreal Canadiens during that season.
New York Islanders had sent off Wisniewski on December 2010, for a second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round choice as well.
This time, Columbus will give up a seventh-round pick if it is unable to sign him before the free agency begins, or an earlier, fifth-round one if a deal is settled between the two.
The Canton, Missouri, native posted 51 points for Montreal during the previous 2010-2011 regular season in 75 games, which consisted of 10 goals and 41 assists for a plus-minus rating of -14.
He played in the first six games of the playoffs against Boston Bruins and recorded two assists.
Montreal Canadiens had three defensemen who were set to become free agents on Friday July 1, Roman Hamrlik, Yannick Weber and James Wisniewski. They chose the first two and it was expected that they would let Wisniewski go.
A few days prior to this trade, Montreal made an offer to Roman Hamrlik, which he is expected to approve and re-signed Yannick Weber to a two-year, $1.7 million contract on Wednesday.
According to most analysts, Canadiens is a team that already has enough defenseman in its line-up, thus, keeping all the players is not possible on the salary cap of the team.
Defensive players like Andrei Markov and PK Subban have risen up for Montreal and are irreplaceable now.
Wisniewski made $3.5 million last season on the team alone, and re-signing him would require a long-term, multi-million dollar contract, which is not possible for the Canadian franchise at the moment.