In an unusual move, the Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to a player trade for next season even as the current one isn’t over yet. The team announced moments ago on Twitter that it has agreed to trade Scott Gomez for Steven Stamkos after the end of the season next week.
With both teams already eliminated from playoff contention, they’re quickly looking for the future. Montreal has just fired its general manager, and is looking for fresh new talent to fill its front office.
Enter Jonathan Yarite, who posted on his Canadiens fan blog that the team should look into trading the underperforming Gomez for a big high-scoring forward like Stamkos. Canadiens president Geoff Molson saw the post, and immediately ordered that the trade be negotiated.
“I wasn’t sure if they would go for it, to be honest,” Molson said. “But they jumped at the chance to get rid of Stamkos and the potential financial crisis he could represent a few years down the line.”
As a reward for suggesting the idea, Molson offered Yarite an assistant general manager job. Yarite immediately accepted, and is expected to start looking for other trade opportunities starting Monday.
Molson said he didn’t want to reveal the trade right away, to respect the NHL’s trade deadline. But he didn’t want to put Yarite into his job without explaining to everyone why.
The Stamkos-Gomez deal is technically unofficial until after the end of the season, “but both teams have agreed it’s a mutually-beneficial agreement,” Molson said with Yarite’s head nodding in agreement.