Proposed trade: Brian Campbell and Patrick Sharp to Montreal, Sergei Kostitsyn, Jaroslav Halak, Andrei Kostitsyn and a draft pick (possibly conditional) to Chicago.
Chicago's take: Chicago has been looking for a way to get out of Brian Campbell's contract since pretty much the day they signed it. Massively overhyped by the media in his contract year (a la Bouwmeester), it seems like NHL scouts were too lazy to actually check out what they were signing to a long term deal at big money. It's undeniable that with cap trouble looming in Chicago, Keith, Toews and Kane up for big raises, they want Campbell's contract out of town. In order to facilitate this they MAY be willing to trade Patrick Sharp, who they value heavily for his leadership, clutch goals and grit. Uniting Sergei Kostitsyn with Patrick Kane is an intriguing possibility for Chicago I'm sure, but at this point in his career Patrick Kane is doing just fine without our temper-mental little Belorussian. With Huet a question mark in goal, it's a possibility that Chicago would be looking at Halak as an option, but they seem to have high hopes for Antti Niemi for now. Andrei Kostitsyn could be a capable replacement for Sharp going the other way, but I don't think Chicago is in any way desperate to obtain him.
Montreal's take: I love Patrick Sharp, he's a solid player in every aspect, signed to a very reasonably salary for the next 3 seasons and easily an upgrade on Andrei Kostitsyn at this point for the second line, but I just can't see how Montreal can take on a salary like Campbell's especially after already taking on a similar salary in Scott Gomez. According to NHLnumbers.com, Montreal has about 1.902 million in cap space available. If Markov's salary goes to LTIR that brings us up to 7.652 million in cap space to work with over the next 2-4 months. Sounds like a lot, but after this trade it really isn't. We'd still be taking on more salary than we're giving away after you consider we'd have to recall Curtis Sanford's 0.6 million dollar salary from the minors. We'd be left with about 0.4 million in cap space by my quick calculations, in other words, not enough for a call up in case of injury. The other problem that arrises is what happens when Markov comes back? Campbell isn't some guy who can be bought out with one year left, or traded away to a team who can eat the cap number, he's signed for 7 more seasons at the insane 7.14 million per season mark. Read that again, SEVEN seasons. Trading for Campbell would all but force Montreal to say good bye to Andrei Markov as a Canadien, as there's just no way you can find a sucker to take on Campbell's salary twice. Markov is the only tradable salary aside from Cammalleri that would put us back near the cap for next season. Terrifying thought isn't it? For purely financial reasons this trade just can not happen.