The Halifax Mooseheads have finally paid the piper for a couple of blockbuster trades made last December.
The Mooseheads officially surrendered valuable veterans Guillaume Monast and Peter-James Corsi on Friday in Sydney, as the first trade period of 2008-09 opened.
Monast, a top defenceman, went to the Quebec Remparts to complete December’s blockbuster for Brad Marchand. Corsi, a high-scoring forward, went to the Drummondville Voltigeurs to complete December’s trade for David Bouchard.
In return, the Mooseheads recoup some lost draft picks.
“Those are very important for us for the future,” Mooseheads general manager Marcel Patenaude said.
Patenaude felt he got fair return for Corsi. Combining December’s trade with Friday’s transaction, he received Bouchard and third- and seventh-round picks in Saturday’s draft.
But he hesitated to say he couldn’t have gotten a better return if he had Corsi as a trading chip now or at Christmas.
“Maybe, maybe not,” he said. “Right now, 20s are going for a first- or second-rounder at the most. We felt a third and a seventh — getting (some more) picks — and a half season of Bouchard plus maybe another year, was worth it.”
Corsi had a 32-goal, 70-point campaign in 2007-08 and could surpass the 90-point plateau next season.
Patenaude called Bouchard an “important piece of the puzzle” for last season’s playoff run, which ended in the semifinals.
“We knew there was a strong possibility he would go to Bathurst and we weren’t sure if we’d face Bathurst in the playoffs,” he said. “Bouchard was the top enforcer in the league, very feared, and we didn’t have any major toughness.”
Bouchard is currently slated to battle Justin Pender and Graham Bona in August for Halifax’s third over-age spot. Mark Yetman and Andrew White should have the others locked up.
Monast was a small part of the blockbuster for Marchand, who also cost the Mooseheads highly-touted prospect David Gilbert, two first-round picks and a third-rounder.
Monast originally came to Halifax in 2006-07 from the Val-d’Or Foreurs in a trade for Jeremy Duchesne.
“A lot of people didn’t think he was a good defenceman and people questioned him,” Patenaude said. “But he was a very good defenceman. For us to acquire Maxime Sauve (who the Mooseheads flipped to the Val-d’Or Foreurs for Marchand), he was the guy we had to let go.”
Patenaude said he is happy both Monast and Corsi are going to contending teams close to their Quebec homes.
“We make sure they’ll be happy if they’re moved,” Patenaude said. “That’s our philosophy … to respect our players.”
The only other Mooseheads trade on Friday was a flip of draft picks with Val-d’Or, also part of the Marchand deal.
The draft begins on Saturday at 10 a.m. Visit Matthew Wuest’s Q Files blog at www.metronews.ca/qfiles for live coverage.
The Mooseheads currently have 10 draft picks: 24th, 40th, 51st, 69th, 109th, 123rd, 141st, 159th, 195th and 213th.
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