Many NHL clubs are looking to make moves sooner than later, and the Montreal Canadiens holding off puts them at an advantage down the line.
With teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and the New York Islanders, amongst many others, looking to make a deal sooner than later, the Canadiens will be in an advantageous situation if they remain patient.
The Canadiens have some assets that could be of great value to teams in Stanley Cup contention, but even more for teams that are in the playoff bubble as we get closer to the NHL Trade Deadline.
Defence At A Premium In February
As the market for defencemen continues to heat up, the eventual trade of Jakob Chychrun is sure to unclog the market for defencemen and that’s when the Canadiens can capitalize.
With the Canadiens looking to play a fast and skilled game moving forward, the Canadiens would likely choose to keep Mike Matheson over Joel Edmundson as the veteran presence on the left side.
Having both Matheson and Edmundson in the same lineup would create an unnecessary logjam long-term, but that could be a different story come Trade Deadline.
As the youngsters continue to grow and take on more responsibility for the Canadiens, Edmundson would become more and more expendable and could be flipped for future assets without hurting the present or future of the team.
It would follow the trend set by Kent Hughes of selling high on players, while having the immediate means to replace the traded asset.
Kent Hughes’ Vision Fulfilled
When Kent Hughes acquired Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames, it wasn’t just about getting a 1st round pick from the Calgary Flames in return.
The idea was always to see what his value would eventually be, as a pending free agent, come the NHL Trade Deadline.
Weighing the pros and cons of trading Monahan is sure to spark conversation among the fan base, but the reality is, if Monahan could return more than what Ben Chiarot did last Trade Deadline, the Montreal Canadiens owe it to themselves to make such a move and further maximize what will go down as one of the best trades in recent memory.
The Canadiens need not rush into anything though, as Monahan’s value will only increase as he continues to show that his past injuries are behind him. If he can continue to maintain a 50-point pace, all while displaying great 200-foot awareness, he’ll be one of the top fish on the NHL trade market and could return a haul.
Some teams are already rumoured to be circling around Monahan, such as the Colorado Avalanche, but, by holding off and creating a market for their centre, the Canadiens will be able to properly measure Monahan’s value to the organization against his maximum worth on the trade market.
They’ll be able to make the most educated decision possible by that point.
More Time To Build Up Value
It could be tempting to move a player like Mike Hoffman or Evgenii Dadonov right now, if just to get rid of their contracts.
However, gaining more time to help these players increase their value on the trade market might be a more valuable endeavour than simply selling them off for scraps.
After slow starts, both players have looked much better as of late, which bodes well for their future production.
The hope is that both continue to trend in the right direction in order to make them more attractive on the trade market and help the Canadiens gain an extra pick or player in the process.
One shouldn’t expect a king’s ransom for either player, but going from negative value to positive value would already be a huge win for the Montreal Canadiens, making the wait well worth it.