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Canadiens Slide, Recent NHL News To Impact Monahan’s Value

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Montreal Canadiens

It’s been a tough time for the Montreal Canadiens without Sean Monahan, but Montreal’s struggles, along with emerging news across the NHL, are only going to help his value.

Yes, it’s uncommon for a player to gain value while out with an injury, but the contrast between the Canadiens with Monahan and without is so staggering that it has rival teams reconsidering the impact the Canadiens’ pivot could have on their group.

Further to that, it seems that the uncertainty in the NHL Trade market might also play in General Manager Kent Hughes’ favour leading up to March 3.

Missing Link

After a very strong start to the season, aided in large part by Monahan’s clutch two-way play and much-needed secondary scoring, Montreal has gone 3-9-2 since Monahan was forced out of the lineup with a lower-body injury.

The Montreal Canadiens’ secondary scoring has all but dried up during that time, with less than a goal per game coming from their other three lines, while Cole Caufield and Josh Anderson have provided most of the goal-scoring.

With the Canadiens crumbling under injuries and unable to find a footing in the faceoff circle, in possession or scoring, all of which were Monahan’s strengths, it goes to show how complicit he was in the Canadiens’ early-season success, and what kind of impact he can have on a roster, when healthy.

Now Monahan, who has started skating again and is expected to return in January, simply needs to stay healthy and pick up right where he left off.

Complications Abroad

It was recently announced that Ryan O’Reilly had sustained an injury that would keep him out until the NHL Trade Deadline or shortly prior to it. It was also reported that, despite the St-Louis Blues being outside of the playoff picture, they are still weighing the possibility of adding pieces to go on a run, rather than selling off their top assets.

Then there’s the situation in Chicago, where Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews isn’t quite sure he wants to move this spring, despite being in the last year of his contract.

In an article from Scott Powers of The Athletic, there is growing traction that some of the biggest fish on the rental market leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline might not be available after all.

“The Blackhawks are open to trading Kane and Toews, but it doesn’t sound like their front office is convinced Kane and Toews will actually ask to be traded. It’s one thing to put a lot of thought into being moved, it’s another to ask to execute it,” wrote Powers on the situation. “Time will tell, but the Blackhawks are prepared for Kane and Toews to ride out this season in Chicago. The Blackhawks aren’t going to pressure them into leaving.”

That being said, if they were going to be moved, it looks like Patrick Kane would be the likeliest to move, as he has maintained an elite pace all throughout the Blackhawks’ tumble down the standings. As for Toews, things seem to be a lot more complicated according to Powers.

Leverage

If Toews were to be taken off the NHL trade market or pick his destination and O’Reilly stayed put in nSt-Louis, it could have a profound impact on the rental market for centres, leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline.

It would put the Montreal Canadiens at an advantage, as Vancouver’s Bo Horvat would be the only real competition on the rental market.

That kind of leverage is good news for Hughes, as the signs may align to help him flip Monahan, as planned, to achieve his goal of going into the 2023 NHL Draft with three 1st-round picks.

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David Trott

Great observations on Monahan. His injury paired with less production from the top line are the biggest reasons for the losing streak. Established players aren’t able to fill the gap and young players are developing so that doesn’t help. It will take some time for this 18 wheeler to turn around.

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