The Habs get some desperately needed forward depth while Rob Blake adds to his pile of picks with the hopes of restocking the somewhat bare cupboards (Ontario’s depth is thin, but the prospect pipeline does offer hope in the future with the likes of Jaret Anderson-Dolan and World Junior Champion Rasmus Kupari among others). Buckle up kids, we have officially entered full rebuild mode.
A Montreal fourth-round pick is probably about equal to the fifth round pick they got in the Dominik Kubalik trade in the sense that they probably won’t be too far apart. The Habs currently sit in the first wild card spot in the East and have a fairly decent chance of making the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks only have four more points than the Kings. In summation, a late fourth compared to an early fifth probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to Blake.
Thompson, for his part, did the best he could. He just wasn’t very good at it. Both Willie Desjardins and John Stevens tried to shoehorn Thompson into a role that he never succeeded in.
Nate Thompson goes to the Habs for a draft pick. Typical fourth liner trade. pic.twitter.com/6SmmXIL7U4— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) February 11, 2019
By all accounts, Thompson was a great guy who lived up to his reputation as a nice guy who tries hard—he just wasn’t a great hockey player, unfortunately. And with the team in desperate need to tear it all down and start over from scratch (hopefully with a bright eyed, bushy tailed, budding young star to build a team around........) and Trevor Lewis finally on the mend, it makes sense to trade Thompson to a team that needs him more than the Kings do.
Since Lewis can play center, him being healthy means Thompson is expendable. It also frees up a roster spot for Michael Amadio, who, at 22 years old, appears to have at least more potential upside than the 34-year-old Thompson.
This move also helps clear up a little bit of cap space (minimally, of course, as $1.65 million isn’t much and he was potentially coming off the books this summer anyway) as the team will have eight RFAs to sign in the off-season.
Thanks for everything, Nate, and good luck in Montreal. May you Hab a lot of success and a deep playoff run!