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Canadiens & Oilers Linked In Trade Chatter, But Not For Monahan



Canadiens defenceman Joel Edmundson

The Montreal Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers have been linked by many this past week, but it’s seemingly not for Sean Monahan.

The Edmonton Oilers need a little bit of everything in their lineup, but their most dire need is a veteran defenceman capable of logging big minutes and rising to the opportunity during the playoffs.

The Montreal Canadiens traded such a player in Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers last summer in exchange for an impressive package, and they have another one possibly available this spring in Joel Edmundson.

A former Cup-winner with the St-Louis Blues, Edmundson was also part of the top-four defensive group that powered the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup Final just two years ago.

His 48 playoff games in the last five years make him a prime candidate to come in and balance a team’s defensive corps, and there is likely no defensive unit more in need of stabilizing than that of the Edmonton Oilers.

On a recent episode of the Got Yer Back podcast, TSN reporter Ryan Rishaug has The Athletic’s Arpon Basu on to talk about the obvious fit Joel Edmundson would be on the Oilers’ blueline and what it would cost to get him in Edmonton.

Basu points out that, given General Manager Kent Hughes’ desire to acquire another 1st round pick, outside of Monahan, Edmundson could be his best way of getting it done.

“Their plan was to add another first-round pick, but how they were going to do that wasn’t clear,” said Basu regarding Hughes’ plan to secure a third 1st round pick.  “They had three guys that were coming up on expiring contracts and Monahan is the one that might come close to getting them that, but I doubt it. But if you get two playoff runs out of Joel Edmundson, the Canadiens might be in a position to go get that.”

The reasoning is that Basu feels the Ben Chiarot trade has set the market for second-pair defencemen with prime playoff experience at the trade deadline, being that of a 1st round pick.

“If things go the way I expect them to go, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Joel Edmundson would be available, but that (a 1st round pick) is going to be the price tag,” said Basu regarding what he thinks the value fo Edmundson could be. “Seeing what Ben Chiarot fetched on the open market, I would think the conversation would start there.”

That being said, Basu believes that some teams may be more reluctant than most years to give up their 1st round selection, given the strength of the 2023 NHL Draft class.

Instead, Basu believes the Canadiens may forgo the acquisition of a 1st round pick in favour of a former 1st round pick that may be just as valuable and further along in their development.

“The quality of this draft class is what’s going to make it difficult,” said Basu regarding Hughes’ desire for a third 1st round pick. “I think a lot of teams think that, even if you’re picking in the 20s, this is a year that you could get a good player. It’s very possible the 1st round pick is not available, in which case the Canadiens could ask for a former 1st round pick.”

The player that was brought up by Rishaug as a potential option was none other than Xavier Bourgault, whom has been confirmed to be on Hughes’ radar over the past year.

A deal centered around Bourgault and Edmundson, with other pieces involved to even out salary and value, would be an absolute win for the Montreal Canadiens and could provide the Oilers with the necessary stability over the next two years to really go for it and give Connor McDavid a chance at a Stanley Cup.