Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rumors of QMJHL trade for Esposito

From the Moncton Times & Transcript:

There's also rumours that Quebec has placed centre Angelo Esposito on the trade market. If he moves, he may be headed to his hometown Montreal Juniors who could be looking for a high-profile player as they prepare for their first season.

[Quebec head coach and general manager Patrick] Roy dismissed the talk, saying "They're all just rumours." Esposito, 19, has seen his production decline in each of his three QMJHL seasons. He had 69 points, including 30 goals, in 56 games this past season. That compares to 98 and 79 points in his first two seasons.

This would of course only mean a change in QMJHL rights, not NHL rights. The QMJHL is currently in a trade freeze until the day before their yearly draft, which will take place June 7.

The Montreal Juniors are a new team, as the St. John's Fog Devils move to the city. Montreal used to have junior hockey, the Montreal Rocket, but has had trouble supporting it in the past.

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald says it's the Juniors who are initiating the trade talks:

It’s also believed that Roy is listening to an aggressive pitch by the Montreal Juniors for forward Angelo Esposito. It seems Juniors owner Farrel Miller has targeted the 19-year-old Esposito to be the face of his franchise and is prepared to pay a handsome price to pry him away from the Remparts.

That has to be sweet music to Roy, who will gladly sit back and let the Juniors back up the truck for Esposito. Watch for this one to end well for the Remparts.


Brent said...

\\...Montreal Rocket...//

Named after iconic native son and NHL legend Maurice "Rocket" Richard. You can still find some of their game-used sweaters on E-Bay from time to time, their logo creatively crafted to resemble Richard's sweater number 9:

Kevin Forbes said...

Montreal (well Verdun) will definitely be looking to make a splash to start off their existence (and their marketing campaign). A lot of teams have failed in that area and the Juniors do not one to be next in line.
Esposito fits perfectly with the idea of a player they can market as being both a hometown kid and an exciting player. I'm not sure how well he will prosper under that sort of spotlight (he's seemed to have melted a bit in the spotlight for the Remparts, even when he was protected by Roy), but most CHL teams try to have the local kid for the fans to cheer for.
St. John's didn't have a lot of Quebec-born and bred talent and so a lot of Q folk are expecting big changes for the squad to make it a more "local friendly" team. Expect San Jose prospect, goaltender Timo Pielmeier to perhaps find a ticket out of town as well.