With the shot against my insistence of looking at the cap restraints of any possible deals aside, I suppose I can consider the 5 trades proposed. Remember, I'll primarily be judging these in terms of talent and impact, and not worrying quite as much about the possibility of them ever actually happening in reality (as much as it pains me to do so).
Trade 1: I like it. The Canadiens give up negligible factors in the short term and add a proven commodity in Cole. Granted, he'd likely get injured immediately upon arriving in Montreal given his history and the luck that has befallen virtually all of their recent additions (Lang and Tanguay have both missed significant time; Schneider currently fears for his well-being), but for the time that he was healthy he'd be a logical fit. It would also prevent Boston from acquiring him (the more likely outcome in reality), which would be a plus.
Trade 2: Very good idea, and also very plausible. Lapperiere would add all kinds of character and grit which the team sorely lacks. You could pair him with Lapierre and Kostopoulos or Begin and have a great 4th line.
Trade 3: While the payout is minimal, this won't happen. Price and Halak are locked on to the roster, and the team can't really justify paying a roster position to act as a mentor. If you wanted to bring him in as an "assistant goalie coach" then fine, but no way a roster position should be sacrificed. Also, does anybody really think that Brian Burke will trade with Montreal?
Trade 4: I think the Habs would be better served keeping Begin and finding a way to get him into the lineup. Why he's relegated to the press box so often is baffling. He's just the sort of motivated player that a good fourth line needs, and having him on the roster and not taking advantage of it is criminal.
Trade 5: The hardest one to assess. It basically comes down to whether or not a loan of Selanne is worth a solid young player in Higgins and a versatile D-man in Boullion. If the Canadiens were primed for a deep playoff run then yes, it would be fine, but in their current position it would be better to trade for somebody with the potential to stick around for a couple of years rather than being a one-and-done like Selanne. I say no deal here.
What does everybody else think? Are any of these deals better/worse than we're making them out to be? Is there anything else that you think the Habs should/shouldn't be doing at the deadline? We'd love to hear what you think.