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NHL Trade Talk

Two Canadiens Have Increased Odds Of Being Traded By March 3

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Kent Hughes Montreal Canadiens GM

Two Montreal Canadiens players are generating some trade buzz at the moment, with the odds increasing that they’ll be on their way out by March 3.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

The Athletic‘s Pierre Lebrun and Eric Duhatschek recently sat down to discuss the 30 players likely to be moved prior to the NHL Trade Deadline.

As previously reported by Montreal Hockey Now, veterans Sean Monahan and Joel Edmundson are the two most coveted players on the Canadiens as we speak.

When it comes to Edmundson, his contract is only set to expire next summer and holds a favourable $3.5M cap hit. He’s an asset, similar to Ben Chiarot and David Savard in years past, that could generate a lot of interest due to his stabilizing ability on the back end and his NHL playoff experience.

“The Canadiens have had a little cottage industry these past few years of sending defensemen out the door to teams looking for blue-line help — Ben Chiarot to Florida and Brett Kulak to Edmonton last year — and they could do the same with Edmundson, who has this season and next left on his contract at $3.5 million per,” wrote Duhatschek. “Edmundson played 22 games in the Blues’ 2019 run to the Cup and 22 again in Montreal’s 2021 run to the final. At age 29, on a reasonable contract, he’d have some value.”

Edmundson has been confirmed to be on the Edmonton Oilers‘ shopping list, but they aren’t the only team in need of a stable top-4 defender, and, with the salary cap only increasing by $1M this summer, having a reasonable cap hit secured for next season may be more attractive to teams than a simple rental.

As for Sean Monahan, it’s simply the trade that keeps on giving for the Canadiens, and we’re not talking about the many conditions on the Calgary Flames’ 2025 1st-round pick. The veteran has bounced back in a serious way so far this season, cementing him as the Canadiens’ No. 2 centre and playing a reliable, two-way game.

Yes, there is likely to be a lot of noise surrounding the likes of Bo Horvat and Jonathan Toews, should he decide to waive his No-Movement Clause, but Monahan will be the backup plan for quite a few teams looking to get strong up the middle.

“One of the nice comeback stories of the season, Monahan has been playing reliable five-on-five minutes and averaging better than 55 percent in the faceoff circle for the Canadiens after landing in Montreal as a part of a Flames salary-cap dump. He’s been valuable enough that the Canadiens could still look to re-sign him,” wrote Duhatschek. ” They received a first-rounder for taking on his contract, and if the decision is to move him, they’ll be seeking a further high draft choice from any team that wants to add center-ice depth for the playoff run”

The Canadiens have the benefit of not having to move either player right now. Edmundson signed to an extra year and Monahan potentially being re-signed means that rival teams will not only have to compete with each other for their services, but would also have to present an offer that outweighs the Canadiens’ desire to retain said players.

Nonetheless, the expectation is that the Canadiens will eventually be forced to move them, as the options for rentals could quickly dry up, especially at those crucial positions.

 

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