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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Forwards Likely To Move By NHL Trade Deadline



Montreal Canadiens forward Sean monahan

The Montreal Canadiens are preparing to undergo yet another roster change.

The March 3rd NHL trade deadline is quickly approaching, and to borrow from every single analyst in sports history, the domino effect is in play.

The first domino fell on Thursday as the New York Rangers acquired sniper Vladimir Tarasenko from the St-Louis Blues.

But it’s also worth pointing out Tarasenko had a full no-trade clause in his contract, which removed much of the leverage the Blues would have normally had in trade negotiations.

The Canadiens have several forwards they’d like to move at the upcoming deadline.

We can safely remove Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, and Juraj Slafkovsky, from the list of players that may be potentially traded. The same applies to Rafael Harvey-Pinard, seeing as he brings much more value to the team than he would on the trade market.


Jonathan Drouin was playing his best hockey of the season before his most recent injury, but it must be said that his value on the trade market is probably at an all-time low. The one saving grace is that his contract is set to expire.

If a team like the Colorado Avalanche calls looking for some depth, it would surely be a lowball offer that comes with a salary retention caveat, which would handcuff the Canadiens in other deals.

Evgenii Dadonov is in the same boat. He has an expiring contract, and much like Drouin has enjoyed a resurgence in the second half of the season. However, the 33-year-old has only scored four goals and 9 assists in 42 games this season, which is unlikely to lead to much interest from the other 31 teams in the league. A salary retention trade could be in play, but it would be a poor return on investment for the Canadiens.

Joel Armia is the least likely of the aforementioned players to move, and not because he’s the worst player of the three. His contract runs until 2024-25 and comes with a $3.4 million annual average value. He’s played much better in the second half of the season, but it’s hard to imagine teams lining up to offer great value for someone who produces at a fourth-line level.

There’s A Chance

Mike Hoffman may not be the most popular player in Montreal, but his perception has been rather harsh given that he’s enjoyed a relatively decent season from both a production and underlying numbers point of view. Is it enough to garner interest around the NHL?

Probably not. But goals are hard to come by in the NHL, and Hoffman has a proven track record of being able to score. He currently has nine goals, one less than the recently traded winger Tarasenko.

His prime is in the rearview mirror, but there aren’t many six-time 20-goal scorers available. Hoffman does have another year left on his $4.5 million AAV contract, which could complicate things seeing as the salary cap is set to be relatively stagnant next year.

Worth Looking Into

According to Darren Dreger, Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is not interested in trading Josh Anderson. However, given the lack of power forwards on the trade market and Anderson’s perceived value around the league, logic dictates the team should investigate the potential return if Anderson is in play.

MUST READ: Pros and cons of trading Josh Anderson

With Tarasenko off the market, Anderson’s overall value should improve. As much as the team likes having Anderson in the lineup, they’re not in a position to turn their noses up if a proper trade offer comes down the pipeline.

Anderson does have a modified no-trade clause, which allows him to submit an eight-team no-trade list.

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

Canadiens fans can breathe a sigh of relief with the news that Sean Monahan skated before the rest of the team took to the ice for practice on Thursday.

Now that Bo Horvat has been dealt, when it comes to available centres in the NHL, Monahan is one of the few players who has had success in all three zones throughout his career and happens to be a faceoff specialist.

MUST READ: Monahan linked to Colorado Avalanche, potential trade targets

Max Domi and Jonathan Toews are also available, but they both have horrifying underlying numbers this season, unlike Monahan, who managed to put together a solid campaign despite playing on a weak team.

Teams will want to see what Monahan can do once he returns from injury, but seeing as he earned 17 points in 25 games, immediately improved all his linemates, is great in transition, and is a defensive stalwart, the interest in Monahan is likely to remain high, regardless of when he’s deemed fit to play.

The Canadiens have danced around the idea of re-signing Monahan, but the 28-year-old simply doesn’t fit the age range of the core group of players the team will lean on during the rebuild.

We can’t guarantee a Monahan trade, but it would be incredibly shocking if he is not dealt within the upcoming weeks.