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Reasons Canadiens Stand To Benefit From Timing Of Horvat Trade



Montreal Canadiens

The New York Islanders making a play for Bo Horvat this early could provide the Montreal Canadiens with a few unintended benefits.

The Islanders currently find themselves two points out of a playoff spot and are likely to come back from the NHL All-Star break.

Taking the biggest fish on the rental market off the board not only gives the Islanders a net advantage in the race for the final Wild Card spots in the east, but it also sets the price range for rentals leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline.

Wild Wild East

The playoff race in the NHL’s Eastern Conference just got even more heated after the Horvat deal.

The Islanders are among a group of seven clubs that are in striking distance of locking down a Wild Card spot this spring.

The arms race is now on, as the Washington Capitals (60 points) and Pittsburgh Penguins (57 points) will look to hold down the final two Wild Card spots as best they can.

On top of the Islanders, the former Metropolitan Division powerhouses also have to contend with the surging Buffalo Sabres (56 points), the Florida Panthers (54 points) and the resurgent Ottawa Senators (51 points), who have four straight games to get back into the race.

This race is extremely important for the Montreal Canadiens, as it will have immense 2023 NHL Draft implications.

Owning the Florida Panthers‘ 1st-round pick in 2023 thanks to last year’s deal that sent Ben Chiarot to South Florida, the Islanders’ bolstering of their forward corps will now make it even harder for the Panthers to keep pace.

In making the move for Horvat this early, the Islanders have officially opened the trade season in the NHL, as the move is likely to prompt rival general managers to get moving to not fall behind.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, they moved most of their attractive future assets and have very little cap space to make a substantial add; meaning there’s very little chance they could keep up with the incoming arms race in the Eastern Conference.

That’s going to be music to the ears of Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes.

Price Fixing 

The Bo Horvat trade has shown that, contrary to popular belief, this is likely to be a seller’s market once again.

By taking Horvat off the board early, other prospective sellers on the market have gained insight into two valuable areas leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline:

First, 2023 1st-round picks are indeed going to be on the table.

Second, with the biggest fish now off the market; other trade targets, especially at centre, will see an uptick in interest as teams look to load up before March 3.

That’s good news for the Montreal Canadiens, as a healthy Sean Monahan could consequently net the Habs something very interesting, should be be healthy enough to return to play before the NHL Trade Deadline.

In a recent interview with TSN 690, NHL Insider Darren Dreger confirmed that interest is going to be high on a player like Monahan, it’s just a question of where he’s at with his health.

“It’s important that he gets back in there and plays a string of games injury-free. Some guys are just unlucky. Sean Monahan has proven over time that he puts in the work, we know that; and, when he is healthy, the rest looks after itself.” said Dreger regarding Sean Monahan’s value. “The market will be strong, it will be very strong on Sean Monahan, but everyone is kind of waiting.”

The same could also be said for the likes of Joel Edmundson, who is dealing with a minor injury at the moment. Should he come back from the All-Star break and Bye week ready to play, the Canadiens may have an interesting month ahead of themselves, with the trade season officially underway.

Health permitting, the Horvat trade has set the stage for the Canadiens to have a very interesting month of February.

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I’m not so sure we’re going to be in the driver’s seat on this. I know what all the “experts” are saying, but I just feel that there will be a flooded market of assets from teams tanking and teams out of the playoff picture to improve their draft position. I think there will be more players in play than expected, which will drive the cost down. I’m also concerned that with the luck we’ve had the past 2 years in the injury department, that all our best trade chips could be injured or the impression of being fragile looming over them, that GMs shopping for the final pieces to their puzzles will look elsewhere for something with a little more certainty. Or, because if the inherent risk seen in our assets, we won’t receive top return for them. I hope we can move Monahan for a 1st and Edmundson for a Chiarot-like package, but I’m not going to be holding my breath.


Good to know. Thanks. I’d also say he was having a career year that season though. Edmundson is definitely not.


Although true teams will not be interested in an injured player, if they are healthy when the trade is made, their injury history is not really relevant (in most cases) as they are being “rented” for the last 20 games plus playoffs. GM’s will look for players that can survive the playoffs and still provide a positive contribution to the playoff effort. Both Eddy and Monahan fit that description. IF they are healthy (enough), they will fetch a good return.


I think their recent histories may scare off a lot of teams. If I was a GM, I wouldn’t take them if I was hoping to get through a 2 month grind.

Curtis Ault

If the Canadiens were chasing a playoff spot, Monahan would have been back by now. They are wrapping him up and putting a bow on the present for the the team that offers the best return.


But he HAS to play at least for a little bit before the deadline to show interested teams he’s not damaged goods. Otherwise, no GM worth his salt should be taking the risk. It would be far wiser to shop elsewhere.

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