Habs Rule Out Butch Bouchard, Take Schneider Instead. Elmer Lach Deal Still Pending.

Canadiens trade for Schneider

 Mathieu Schneider is returning to Montreal, as the Canadiens acquired the veteran defenceman in a trade with the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday.The Habs also received a conditional draft choice in the 2009 NHL draft from Atlanta as part of the deal.

In exchange, the Thrashers receive a second-round pick in this year’s draft and a third-round pick in 2010.

Schneider, 39, played for the Canadiens from 1989 to 1995. The New York City native was on Montreal’s 1993 Stanley Cup-winning team and has twice represented the United States team at the Olympics.

The Habs hope that Schneider can help boost the club’s defensive play and prowess on the power play.

“We were looking for a defenceman who could contribute offensively,” Canadians general manager Bob Gainey said in a news release. “Mathieu, an experienced player with a lot of offensive upside, will bring depth to our core group of defencemen and will be an asset on our power play.”

Schneider has four goals and 14 points in 44 games for the Thrashers this season. He notched the 500th career assist on Feb. 10 in a game against Tampa Bay and became the 74th player in NHL history to appear in 1,200 games on Oct. 14, 2007, against Minnesota.

A third-round pick (44th overall) of the Habs in the 1987 draft, Schneider has played 1,241 regular season games with the Canadiens, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks and the Thrashers.

The Ducks traded Schneider to the Thrashers last September in exchange for defenceman Ken Klee and forwards Brad Larsen and Chad Painchaud.

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