and thats great." The return of Harper was the last thing the struggling Brewers need
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The biggest gun among unrestricted free agents was dealt just as the deadline approached, but the ultimate price sure appears to be a relative bargain. Alec Burks Jersey . Numbers Game looks into the Canadiens securing the services of Thomas Vanek in a trade with the New York Islanders. The Canadiens Get: LW Thomas Vanek and a conditional fifth-round pick. Vanek, 30, was considered the prize of the pending unrestricted free agent class as the deadline approached. Hes scored 271 goals in 645 games since coming into the league in 2005-2006. Since his second year in the league, Vanek ranks fourth with 246 goals and hes done it with all sorts of different linemates between his time in Buffalo and, for much of this season, with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo on the top line for the New York Islanders. Vanek isnt a great possession player, some years better than others, but is so skilled and plays in an offensive role that his on-ice shooting percentage is among the best in the league over the past five seasons. In Montreal, Vanek should give the Canadiens offence a jolt, as Max Pacioretty, with 29 goals, is the only Hab with more than Vaneks 21 goals this season. Adding Vanek will give the Canadiens offence more depth and its conceivable that a finisher like Vanek can continue to produce while also elevating the production of his new linemates. A spot alongside Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk might be a decent fit to start. An unrestricted free agent in the summer, Vanek brings a cap hit of more than $7.1-million. There have been several rumours this season about Vaneks desire to end up in Minnesota, and that may be where he goes as a free agent, but Vanek also acknowledged that a winning team sure helps in the decision-making process. If Vanek can play a significant role in the Canadiens playoff push, then perhaps Montreal will be a destination that he considers as a long-term home, but that expectation had better come with the understanding that Vanek is going to command a massive contract as an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Islanders Get: RW Sebastian Collberg and a conditional second-round pick. Collberg just turned 20 a couple of weeks ago and was a second-round pick in 2012. Hes a skilled forward with good speed who has 18 points in 75 Swedish Elite League games over the past two seasons with Frolunda HC. Hes put up a dozen points in 13 games at the past two World Junior Hockey Championships. Its hard to project a young forward getting limited ice time in Sweden to a big role right away in the NHL, so Collberg probably needs time in the AHL, which ought to be fine for the Islanders, who have quite a few young forwards coming through the pipeline. One of those young forwards, Anders Lee, the 23-year-old rookie pro out of Notre Dame, could see quite a bit of action in a scoring role down the stretch. Lee has four goals and six points in six NHL games (this year and last) and, with Vanek gone, there is room for Lee to show that he should be a part of the plans for next seasons team. The conditional picks are based on whether or not the Canadiens make the playoffs. If they hold their current playoff spot, then the Canadiens swap their second-rounder for the Islanders fifth-round pick. If the Canadiens fall out and miss the playoffs, then the deal will just be Collberg for the rental of Vanek. All told, the price doesnt seem to be nearly enough a return for the Islanders, who were out of the race early enough that everyone knew they were going to deal Vanek, but somehow appeared to overplay their hand because even if Collberg is a good prospect, that doesnt seem to match the price paid for lesser players. As a result of that incongruous fit between the Islanders asking price and what the market was ultimately willing to pay, it sure appears to have provided an opening for Montreal GM Marc Bergevin to take advantage and upgrade his team at a very reasonable price. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. John Stockton Jersey . -- Each time the Utah Jazz threatened Memphis lead, the Grizzlies responded with defensive stops. Custom Utah Jazz Jerseys . Dane Dobbie had four goals and two assists, Karsen Leung had two goals and two assists, and Matthew Dinsdale scored two and helped on another for Calgary (6-3). Shawn Evans and Jeff Shattler had eight-point games with a goal and seven assists apiece, and Jon Harnett and Geoff Snider also scored. http://www.officialjazzauthenticstore.co...zz-jersey/ . -- Mixed martial arts fighter Cristiane Justino Santos has been suspended and fined for testing positive for steroids.WASHINGTON -- Yes, that was Bryce Harper, not a mirage, in the Washington Nationals clubhouse, ready to return from the disabled list. Manager Davey Johnson wanted to be sure. "I went in there and said, Is that really you? Are you OK? Are you ready to go?" Johnson said. "He shook my hand and said Im ready. It seemed like I hadnt seen him in half a year. It seems that long." The 20-year-old sparkplug of a slugger was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Monday, following his recovery from a knee injury that stemmed from a collision with the Dodger Stadium fence. Harper missed 31 games with bursitis, diagnosed after he reinjured the left knee several times after he kept trying to play for two weeks following the mishap in Los Angeles on May 13. He pronounced himself fit after going 4 for 11 with a double, a triple and a home run during a four-game rehab assignment last week with Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. "A little swelling, but not much," Harper said. "Nothing to be cautious about. I feel good, and its to the point where I want to play." Harper said he will wear padding to protect the knee. He was in the starting lineup, batting third and playing left field for the homestand opener against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Nationals were 25-19 when Harper played, 16-21 when he didnt. That added up to a middling 41-40 mark at the halfway point for a consensus preseason pick to repeat as NL East champions. He was batting .287 with 12 homers and 23 RBIs when he went on the DL. "Not only his bat, but I think the energy he brings, he takes a lot of the focus and hes a competitor," Johhnson said. Jonas Jerebko Jersey. "Just to have that 20-year-old energy running around 100 per cent, Im sure hes still probably going to run into the wall, Im sure hes going to dive headfirst. ... I dont want to put a damper on that. Thats who he is, and thats how he plays the game, and thats great." The return of Harper was the last thing the struggling Brewers needed. Milwaukee arrived in Washington on a five-game losing streak. "Well see after the series how bad of a break it is. ... What it does is it adds a guy who can drive the ball out of the ballpark," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He can hit any pitch, and you have to be really careful with how you pitch him." Harpers return puts Johnson closer to the lineup envisioned at the start of the year, except that Anthony Rendon has replaced the demoted Danny Espinosa at second base. All thats left is for catcher Wilson Ramos to return from a left hamstring injury. Ramos was scheduled to catch seven innings at Potomac on Monday and could return to the major league club as early as Thursday. Johnson moved Rendon from second to seventh in the batting order to create a left-right-left-right-left top of the order consisting of Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche. "Its all about matchups late in the ballgame that you want to create," Johnson said. NOTES: Johnson said LHP Ross Detwiler had a good bullpen session Monday and is on pace to start Wednesday as scheduled. Detwiler had stiffness in his lower back after his last start. ... The Nationals optioned RHP Erik Davis to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Harper. 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