It was starting to look like Garth Snow may not get a deal done involving Thomas Vanek. Teams that were assumed to have interest didn't, and other top scoring forwards were going off the market.
But just before the 3 p.m. deadline the Islanders sent Vanek and a conditional fifth-round draft pick to the Montreal Canadiens for a conditional second-round draft pick and prospect Sebastien Collberg, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun. Collberg was Montreal's second-round pick in 2012.
According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, the condition on the draft picks is if the Canadiens miss the playoffs no draft picks will exchange hands.
Considering what the Islanders gave up for Vanek just a couple of months ago -- Matt Moulson and a future first-round draft pick -- that seems like a rather underwhelming return. The Islanders, however, didn't have much of a choice given that Vanek is a free agent after the season and seemed determined to test the open market. The Islanders ran the risk of losing him for nothing. Instead, they lost him for a prospect and what amounts to a lottery ticket of a draft pick that they may not even end up getting.
For the Canadiens, however, it's a huge score.
Montreal had a serious need for additional goal-scoring, and really, any sort of creativity offensively, and of all the rental options that were out there Vanek was probably the best top-line guy on the market.
And it didn't require a huge payment to get him.
In a year where the Eastern Conference is wide open for anybody to take, that seems like a risk worth taking.