Brewer was in Habs gunsights

Just as Calgary Flames coach Brent Sutter was set to speak to the media following the Calgary Flames practice Friday, a voice boomed through the room. "Brewer to the Lightning," turned the heads, and raised the eyebrows of a mixed bag of Flames and Montreal Canadiens scribes.

There had been plenty of chatter and speculation that Eric Brewer,  the 31-year captain of the St. Louis Blues, was a possible option for the Habs. The Blues and Canadiens are no strangers when it comes to trades of  late (see Jaroslav Halak and Matt D`Agostini), so another deal did seem likely.

The Canadiens were hurting on the blueline yet again last week  with Hal Gill and James Wisniewski still probables for this past Sunday's game, and Jaroslav Spacek staying home with a knee problem that won't even allow him to skate. A report in Friday's Buffalo News cited that Spacek was done for the season. The Canadiens have not confirmed this, stating that treatments and evaluations continue in Montreal.

As Saturday progressed in Calgary, I picked up on some very solid sources that Brewer was indeed a target of Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier up until last Friday.

What nixed the deal, and what the Blues were after in return, will remain a mystery.

The Tampa Bay Lightning sent prospect Brock Beukeboom and a third round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft back to St. Louis. Were the Blues after a similar package, such as P.K. Subban or Yannick Weber and a pick, or perhaps a little more? 

Brewer's contract status also comes into play. He will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1, and carries a current price tag of $4.25 million. He's reasonably priced, but would not fit within the Canadiens cap, even if Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges salaries come off to LTIR. A roster player would clearly have needed to be move for a deal to have happened.

But with several Habs rearguards contracts due this July, it is quite possible that Gauthier wasn't ready to give up his prized rookie defender in Subban ,and risk losing four or more veterans over the summer.

The acquisition of Paul Mara also seems to make more sense as well. Acquired earler last week, the deal for Mara, from the Anaheim Ducks, may have been Gauthier's inexpensive backup plan. With Gill going through an extensive pre-practice session, with Canadiens strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard, prior to Friday's practice, it may have made Gauthier's decision to walk away from St. Louis easier.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Eyes On The Prize

You must be a member of Eyes On The Prize to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Eyes On The Prize. You should read them.

Join Eyes On The Prize

You must be a member of Eyes On The Prize to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Eyes On The Prize. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker