Okay, so at the trade deadline this season, apparently Marc Bergevin was chasing Mike Rupp, Kyle Clifford and Brian Bickell. Based on the way they're playing, neither Mr. Clifford or, especially, Mr. Bickell will be available this summer at anything approaching a reasonable cost. So let's cross those two guys off the list.
Mike Rupp is a different story. He's 33, and had to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, which will not help his limited agility on skates. He'll make $1.5M next season, and the Wild already have Zenon Konopka and Steve Veilleux on their roster for toughness. They have about 10 million in cap space, but they need a lot of that to re-sign Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Cullen and Niklas Backstrom, among others. They also need to either re-sign Pierre-Marc Bouchard, or someone to replace him.
If Mr. Bergevin is still interested in trading for him, I can't imagine the Wild would be very ambitious in their demands. They'd most likely be happy to lose his cap hit. The only real factor would be how many other teams might be vying for his services.
Aside from his age, we have to wonder if a slow player like Mr. Rupp would fit in to the Canadiens lineup. Would he be able to keep up and contribute? Also, can a player his age really bring much to the table?
My guess is that if he can be obtained for some of our spare parts, for a player we feel no longer fits into our plans rather than for a draft pick, this acquisition would be a no-brainer. Mr. Rupp would be brought in as a fourth-liner, to bring some toughness and size to the lineup, some Dion Phaneuf insurance. He'd be a veteran presence and help steady the ship when elbows are flying.
The skillset he would bring is sorely needed on the Canadiens, he would give a huge boost to the team in altering its makeup. Injecting him into a roster like the Sharks' or the Kings' would bring little benefit, but for ours, or the Canucks' for example, his value would be magnified.
An interesting side note is that he played for two seasons for the Rangers along with Brandon Prust, they were two important components of that team who provided strength and character. It would be interesting to ask Mr. Prust what his take would be on a possible reunion.
In any case, even if we found that the years and the wonky knee have done their damage and his contribution is limited, we'd only be on the hook for one year of a reasonable contract. There is little downside if we find that this sponge has been wrung dry.
For these reasons, I think it might be a good idea to obtain Mr. Rupp, at the stated reasonable cost, and I wouldn't be surprised if it happened.