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2016 NHL Trade Deadline: Could Tomas Fleischmann help a playoff-bound team?

Signed to a cap-friendly contract, the Czech winger could be a target for a teams looking to add depth for the postseason.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While not mentioned directly in any sort of rumour, Tomas Fleischmann is the exact kind of player that is moved at the trade deadline every year. He's a solid depth addition to most lineups, and has a very cap-friendly, expiring contract this season.

Let's be clear; Fleischmann is not the same forward that once racked up 27 goals in a season, but he still has many of the same tools that make him an appealing option for teams looking to solidify their bottom six heading into the postseason. In 55 games this year with the Habs, he's registered a respectable nine goals and 10 assists, all while being bounced around the lineup by Michel Therrien.

The added bonus to all of this is that Fleischmann cost the Canadiens next to nothing, so receiving any sort of prospect or draft pick in return is essentially like finding money.

Flash Chart

While his offensive numbers are outstanding for the role he plays, it should be noted that his overall possession numbers are lacking. Much of Fleischmann's offense came early in the season on a line with David Desharnais and Dale Weise, who rode a monster PDO wave during the Habs 9-0 start.

Once that line was broken up, Fleischmann found himself lost in the shuffle of the Canadiens line up, bouncing between multiple lines and even being a healthy scratch at times. Despite the constant line juggling, he manages to maintain a respectable 49.85 CF% at even strength.

On the other hand, his scoring chance differential is not very good. At even strength, his SCF% is 47.4, and it gets even worse for high-danger scoring chances, where he clocks in at 46.4%. Any team taking him on in a trade would have to be able to shelter him a little to make it worth their while.

Best fit for a move

Any playoff bound team looking to shore up their bottom six with some secondary scoring should take a look at Fleischmann. You'd be hard pressed to find a team pushing for the playoffs, or already holding a spot, that wouldn't be able to benefit from him in such a role.

One example would be the Boston Bruins, who are playing a fourth line involving Zac Rinaldo, and could clearly be better off with a player like Fleischmann. Another fit could be the Rangers, whose fourth unit includes Tanner Glass, and rookie forward Marek Hrivik.

There are plenty of other teams heading for the playoffs with question marks in the bottom half of their lineups, so Marc Bergevin should be able to find a trading partner with relative ease.

Acceptable return

The baseline for a trade involving Fleischmann should be something along the lines of the Shawn Matthias trade. Matthias was traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Colorado Avalanche for Colin Smith and a 2016 fourth-round pick.

Given that both Matthias and Fleischmann were used in a similar fashion, it is reasonable to expect a similar return for the Canadiens. Both a player and a pick seems like wishful thinking, but the Habs can afford to take just the pick, and fill Fleischmann's spot with Jacob de la Rose or Sven Andrighetto if they choose not to call up another prospect.

Montreal already has two picks in the second round of this year's draft, so if they could add another one of those for Fleischmann, it would be a big win. The Canadiens' prospect pool isn't looking so hot these days, and three second round picks would go a long way towards improving it.

Again, Fleischmann cost basically nothing to acquire, so Marc Bergevin can only gain by trading him. Even if you can't get a higher-round draft pick, it would still be a win for him considering that his team has virtually no shot at the playoffs at this point.

If Bergevin does test the market, it is entirely possible that he could find a good deal for Fleischmann.