Montreal trades Guillaume Latendresse to Minnesoa for Benoit Pouliot.
A good deal for both teams as they swap once-promising youngsters in the hopes that a change of scenery will ignite a fire.
Latendresse stormed onto the scene in 2006-2007, scoring 16 goals as a 19 year-old. A big winger with good speed, Guillaume used his size to bang bodies and create space for him and his linemates. Latendresse has since battled injuries and hasn't progressed from that impressive rookie year. He has struggled this year with just 2 goals and 1 assist in 23 games averaging just 11:23 of ice-time a night.
The change of scenery should help as he will no longer have to play under the microscope of Montreal. Watch him over the next few weeks to see if he can regain his confidence.
The 2005 4th overall pick has developed at a snail's pace. Pouliot was tabbed as a poor man's Vincent Lecavalier in his draft year, a lanky, skilled centre that just needed to add some muscle. Although he never scored more then 65 points in the OHL, Pouliot was viewed as a late-bloomer who projected well as an NHLer. Since the draft, he has struggled to put up points at any level. Benoit had his best year statistically in the AHL last season with 24 points in 30 games. He earned a regular spot with the Wild this year but has struggled to take advantage of the opportunity with just 4 points in 14 games - averaging a mere 6:58 of ice-time.
A quick start in Montreal could save his career, but we're betting against it. Keep an eye on Pouliot but he should be in the AHL by January.