Habs trade Brière to Avalanche for Parenteau
Also trying to trade defenceman Josh Gorges
While there are numerous reports that the Canadiens are trying to trade defenceman Josh Gorges, general manager Marc Bergevin appeared to come out ahead on a deal with the Colorado Avalanche Monday.
The Canadiens sent Daniel Briere to the Colorado Avalanche in return for P.A. Parenteau and a fifth-round draft choice in 2015.
“I’m very excited to be coming to Montreal,” Parenteau said in a conference call from Moncton. “I’m a kid from Boucherville who dreamed of playing for the Canadiens when I was a kid.”
With the deal, the Canadiens get bigger and younger. Parenteau, who is 31, is 6-foot and 193 pounds, while the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Briere will be 36 in October.
Parenteau was more productive last season with 33 points in 55 games, while Briere had 25 in 69 games. It’s the disparity in games that should trigger some concern. Parenteau missed 10 games in January with a knee injury and finished the regular season with a sprained MCL. He did return for the playoffs and said Monday that he was 100 per cent.
“There was no surgery required, I just had to rehab it for three or four weeks,” Parenteau said.
The acquisition of Parenteau probably means the end of captain Brian Gionta’s tenure in Montreal because he’s a right-winger who can be plugged in on the No. 2 line with Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk.
“I consider myself a top-6 NHL forward,” said Parenteau, whose initials stand for Pierre-Alexandre. “I’m a good player and I can score and I play with an edge.”
When asked what he knew about Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Parenteau said: “I know he’s an intense coach and I’ll bring all the intensity I can.”
Briere is a natural centre and that was a problem in Montreal with David Desharnais, Lars Eller and Plekanec claiming spots on the top three lines. As a result, Briere was often stuck on the wing. He gave a full effort but was obviously out of his comfort zone.
While Briere said he was excited to be playing in Montreal, he dealt with the pressure that goes along with a francophone playing in this market and he didn’t hesitate to waive his no-trade clause.
Parenteau, who said he planned to move to Montreal after his wedding on July 12, said he wasn’t concerned about the pressure in Montreal.
“I think I’m old enough that I’ve learned how to deal with that,” he said. “I know some of the guys like Brandon Prust, Dale Weise and David Desharnais, so it’s not like it’s a totally new situation.”
Parenteau has been mentioned in trade rumours involving the Canadiens over the years and he said there were “brief talks” with the club when he was an unrestricted free agent two years ago.
Each player has a $4-million cap hit, but Parenteau has two seasons remaining on his contract while Briere has one.
In other news, the NHL announced that the Canadiens' April 7 game in Tampa has been rescheduled for Oct. 13. The change was necessary because the NCAA Frozen Four is being played in Tampa.
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