Before you discredit what Mike Bossy had to say regarding the New York Islanders trading their captain, it’s important to get the full context. Cause there’s something that was lost in all of this fanfare.
Former New York Islanders player and legend of the game Mike Bossy was recently on Montréal radio talking about all things hockey when it seems at one point he suggests that the Islanders should trade Tavares to the Canadiens for a list of players.
It’s true. He brings it up after a commercial break unprovoked. But Bossy only brings it up as part of a thought experiment regarding a failed Montréal trade some eight years ago.
(Catch the full interview here. But FYI it’s all in french. )
New York Islanders
In 2009 it is rumored that then Montréal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey had a deal worked out with the Tampa Bay Lightning to trade Max Pacioretty, P.K. Subban, Carey Price, and a first round pick for Vincent Lecavalier.
Remember that back in 2009, Lecavalier was at the height of his value. Coming off a 2007-08 season that saw him score 40 goals and 92 points. While Subban was just a prospect in the Habs system, Pacioretty put up 11 points in 34 games in the 2008-09 season and Price had a 23-16-10 record with a .905 SV% and 2.83 GAA that same season.
Neither of those players as we know them today. Knowing what we know now this was a terrible deal for the Canadiens.
Subban went on to win a Norris trophy. Carey Price is alone at the top of the goaltending tree winning the Hart, Vezina, Lindsay, and half of the Jennings trophy with Corey Crawford in 2015.
(PS: John Tavares ranks sixth with 151 goals int he last five years)
You probably saying: “I don’t remember that trade?” That’s because it never actually happened. According to former Lightning GM Brian Lowton, the deal was nixed by the Bolts ownership.
That’s where Bossy’s comments comes from. He was putting a modern spin on the deal. What would that look like for the Canadiens in today’s NHL? Because just like then, the Canadiens are still looking for that number one center.
John Tavares is that guy, even though Bossy believes the only way he becomes available is if he doesn’t sign with the Islanders by July 1st. Check out the clip at the hour and 42-minute mark. Which we all can agree is true.
All indications point to Tavares signing an extension with the Isles, but if Garth can’t convince him to sign, then it’s time to go shopping.