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2015 NHL Trade Deadline Speculation: Mike Santorelli a target for the Canadiens?

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With the March 2nd NHL trade deadline approaching, we're taking a look at some potential trade targets for the Habs. Today we focus on Mike Santorelli.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

In the last few targets I've taken a look at some big names, notably Evander Kane and Antoine Vermette. They're the kind of players that fans get excited to see when it comes to trade rumours, but they're not always the smartest targets for deadline deals.

As we all know, the trade prices come March 2nd will be inflated, and getting into a bidding war is rarely a smart move, especially in terms of asset management.

We don't have to look very far to identify a lesser-known player that could potentially help the Canadiens. Mike Santorelli's name has been floated by Pierre Lebrun recently, given that Toronto is heading for another disappointing, albeit predictable, finish this season.

Santorelli is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, meaning he would fall under the category of rental for the time being.  At $1.5M his contract is very reasonable, especially once you factor in that he's a versatile player with the ability to play on the wing, as well as down the middle.

Player evaluation

santorelli

Santorelli is currently playing on Toronto's second line, in the right wing position. His most common linemates this season have been Nazem Kadri / Daniel Winnik (6.33% of the time) and Leo Komarov / Peter Holland (3.56%).

He's been given an average ice time per game of 13:49 this season, with little to no special teams duties. Noted as a defensively responsible player, Santorelli is currently on pace for a 43 point season.

As you can see he's been producing very respectable results, although he hasn't received very much fanfare in the process, flying under the radar in the hockey circus that is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Cost

I reached out to our sister blog Pension Plan Puppets to get an idea of what Santorelli might realistically fetch in a trade.

Given that he's an unrestricted free agent, the price seems quite reasonable, and was set at a 2nd round pick.

The caveat given was that with the lack of elite forwards on the trade market this year, Santorelli's price may rise, although no one expects him to fetch a king's ransom.

It's unlikely that the Leafs would look to acquire any prospects in this case, as the consensus seems to be that Shanahan is intent on stock piling draft picks.

Is it worth it?

He's not a flashy player, but he very well may be the exact type of piece that the Canadiens need to bolster their depth. His ability to play on the wing would fill a pressing need, and the cost doesn't seem to be unreasonable.

We'll leave the decision up to the community, make sure to vote on the poll below.