During the latest edition of Insider Trading, TSN analyst Darren Dreger discussed the deal that brought 28-year-old centre, Sean Monahan, to the Montreal Canadiens this summer.
The trade occurred in late August and included a conditional first-round pick in 2025 in addition to Monahan. The Flames received future considerations in return, and of course, much-needed cap space.
“Sean Monahan, we know, is a victim of cap gymnastics in Calgary,” said Dreger. “And it was good work by Kent Hughes and the Canadiens to acquire him, and get the added assets and futures they got for him.”
As it stands, Monahan is among the most sought-after players on the trade market, thanks to an uptick in production as he immediately settled into the Canadiens’ second-line centre role.
With 5 goals and 11 assists in 23 games, Monahan is the only player on the Canadiens roster that has reached the 10-point mark without the benefit of playing on the first line for an extended period of time.
Luck Of The Draw
However, the trade, which could end up being one of Kent Hughes’ best moves, almost didn’t happen.
From the get-go, the Arizona Coyotes were the front-runners, and though a trade to Arizona seemed to be imminent, it eventually fell apart.
“The Montreal Canadiens were not the first stop on Brad Treliving’s shopping tour,” said Dreger. “It actually began and thought it finished with the Arizona Coyotes. That deal fell through.”
Dreger explains Hughes and Treliving had discussed a possible trade, but seeing as Carey Price’s health status was still in question, the Canadiens’ salary cap situation was in limbo.
Once they knew Price was headed for the long-term injured reserve and the Coyotes were unable to seal the deal, the Canadiens stepped in and were paid handsomely for their troubles.
“In the end, Sean Monahan ends up in Montreal,” said Dreger. “But he was being used as a pawn.”
Monahan may have been used as a pawn by the Flames, but ever since he arrived in Montreal, he’s been a crucial part of a surprising roster, an essential source of secondary scoring on a team that tends to rely on its top line for the majority of its offence.
It’s also worth noting that Monahan’s point totals in Montreal would currently place him second in scoring if he were still with the Flames.