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Three Reasons The Monahan Deal Is A Home Run For Canadiens



Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan

The 2023-24 lineup is starting to become a little clearer now that the Montreal Canadiens have re-signed forward Sean Monahan to a one-year contract extension.

And while there are still some concerns regarding his ability to stay healthy, the Monahan contract certainly seems like a home run for Kent Hughes and Co, especially given the current free agent and trade landscape in the NHL.

Centre Depth

With the new contract in the books, the Canadiens now have three solid centres available next season: Monahan, Nick Suzuki, and Kirby Dach.

Both Dach and Monahan spent some time on the wing last year, with both players showing great results alongside Suzuki and Cole Caufield on the first line. Their impact on the line is notable since no other players in the lineup managed to produce encouraging results alongside the Canadiens’ best two players.

However, if the Canadiens do manage to find a third amigo for the top line, it will allow head coach Martin St-Louis to ice three lines anchored by high-end centres, something the team has not had the ability to do for many years.

The contract also brings into question Christian Dvorak’s role on the team. The 27-year-old centre will be heading into the final two years of his contract, which pays him $4.45 million per season. It’s worth noting that the final two years come with modified no-trade clauses, which puts an onus on making a movie before July 1st.

With Monahan in the mix, trading Dvorak seems like the most likely scenario. If the Canadiens do not manage to trade him prior to July 1st, Dvorak’s no-trade clause kicks in, which means he can submit an eight-team no-trade list to the Canadiens.

Dubois Affair

We’ve discussed the Pierre-Luc Dubois dossier at length this season, and though it seems like the talented centre is dead-set on eventually playing for the Canadiens, the Monahan contract extension provides Hughes with a little more breathing room when evaluating how much they’d be willing to pay to acquire the Quebec native.

Simply put, there’s absolutely no rush to bring Dubois to Montreal now that Monahan has re-signed.

MUST READ: Dubois Won’t Sign With Jets, But Not All Roads Lead To Montreal

If the Winnipeg Jets decide they want to trade Dubois to another club, the Canadiens can simply start negotiations anew once Dubois lands with his new team.

Deadline Deals

There’s very little talent available in free agency this summer and even fewer centres that could possibly sign a team-friendly deal such as Monahan’s, which will cost the Canadiens just $1.985 million next season.

Of course, Monahan will have to stay healthy throughout the season if he’s to improve his value on the trade market, but given his skillset, which includes responsible defensive play, impressive offensive capabilities, and strong underlying numbers, it’s rather easy to project Monahan as a player that could yield a strong return at the deadline.

It’s also worth pointing out that his salary cap will be negligible by the time the 2024 trade deadline rolls around, which means he’d become a viable option for many teams attempting to bolster their depth ahead of the playoffs.

Anyway you cut it, the one-year extension signed by Monahan should bring fantastic value to the Montreal Canadiens.

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I’m sorry, but this was NOT a smart deal…it was rather dumb, actually. Right up their with trading Toffoli for a late 1st rd pick, when based on what he is right now, that was a steal for the Flames and a blunder for the Habs.

Goodness, where do I start on this:

He’s an injury waiting to happen. His past FOUR seasons have been injury-riddled. What makes anyone think, let alone the Habs, that this guy will all of the sudden change this directive?So now that means trade Dvorak? Sure, because there is now a logjam at centre. Right now we have an extra centre. So Dvorak gets traded, then Monahan gets injured – and now we are DOWN a centre! I fail to see how this deal “adds to the Habs centre depth“!The Dvorak trade won’t fetch much now that we have a logjam at centre and all other teams know the Habs have to unload this guy before the start of the season. Trading from a position of weakness, when value is low…nice!I don’t care if its only one year at $2M…that $2M that could be spent much more wisely elsewhere. That’s now $2M LESS for a winger that needs to be signed. That means add yet another winger needs to be either traded or sent down to the minors…and don’t we have enough of those already???
I guess no GM is immuned to making a bad deal, no matter how rare it may be. Holy crap wow !!!

Last edited 5 months ago by Mike Klynsma

Great move by Hughes. Every team looks to have strength at centre. What’s not to like


“What’s not to like”…see my post above.


I guess everyone else is wrong, and you’re right.
Hughes doesn’t know what he’s doing. All the media covering the habs doesn’t know anything about hockey. Everyone here commenting don’t know hockey. You’re a lonely man on an island.


No, every move Hughes has made so far – with the exception of this one and trading Toffoli for a questionable return – was very good.

Lets see what happens when Monahan goes on IR again…

Last edited 5 months ago by Mike Klynsma

He is there to help mentor the young centre’s. Regardless of how healthy he may or may not be throughout the season. You’re are the type of fan who thinks this team is ready to load up, and chase a Cup. Sorry this is a rebuild. It needs to be done methodically, organically and not rushed. Dvorak is not suited for this team. His eventual trade will further give us cap flexibility which will be used to aquire assets for taking on salary via trades. The trades that Hughes has made were to give us cap flexibility. Bergevin put us in cap purgatory with his hasty signings to save his desperate ass. Did you love Dvorak when we signed him over Danault? That’s what you should be bitter about. Bergevin’s mess is the knot Hughes is slowly unraveling. Deal with it!


Ah, Dvorak was added to the team via a trade to replace KK as a center – NOT Danault. Danault was the defacto 1st line center, although his #s proved he was not. Danault left the team via free agency. Please have the correct facts…


Your points are certainly relevant but I dont see them as serious as you do. All teams get injuries and there is no “rush” to trade Dvorak…Monahan effectively replaces Gurianov at a lesser price.
The availability for players like ylonen/rhp will be dependent on their camp. If they earn a spot they will get one. Whether that means Jake evans/Dvorak/Monahan are on the IR/waivers/traded.

In the meantime the Habs maintain a logjam on defence and at forward.
Is rem a casualty?
Is Hoff a buyout?
Is there a trade to be had for Armia?

All TBD.

Fun times.


I can partially agree on some of your comments, especially the need to move out 2 or 3 wingers, but Monahan does not replace Guri. A center does not replace a winger…except if you mean salary cap hit.

I just don’t think Monahan will make it through the season injury free. Four straight seasons of this issue for him. I expect at some point during the season he will break down and go on IR for at least one extended period. Then once that happens, the entire deal to sign him looks very stupid. Playing charades with Dach between center and winger is bad. Trading away Dvorak, and then Monahan gets injured, is bad. There is just too much risk for bad things to happen because his health is a MAJOR concern.


Morrisk, we got your opinion. Now take a break. Suzuki and Caufield are more productive with another center on their line.
The coach and gm know their hockey. Just enjoy the show. It was exciting before the injury bug hit the team last year.


Suzuki needs another center on his line? Not a top winger to match C.C.?

Oy vey…..


If Monahan is past the injury issues, this will work out well for the Habs. If not, and he ends up on LTIR, the Habs regain the cap space and Monahan’s NHL career probably is over and the end of the season.


Right, Dvorak gets traded for a low return, Monahan ends up on LTIR, then who plays centre? You?

Ron Barry

Nice piece of business by Hughes – your analysis – and the price – are spot on. And, if it becomes difficult to unload Devo, Kirby can slot into a prominent role as a top-line winger since Devo is a serviceable third-line centre who kills penalties and acquits himself, just fine thank you, in the faceoff circle.


So we continue the charade game with Kirby…one day centre, the next day winger. Position du-jour, as the French would put it? Lets see how that goes.

Habs need to make this choice NOW. He either is a centre or a winger – NOT both, and NOT interchangeable. If he plays RW and is good enough to play on that top line with CC, then OK good. But he STAYS there for good.

But that clogs up yet another winger spot and an additional winger needs to go…

Or, that means you keep Dvorak at #3 centre and Monahan plays #2 centre??? OK fine, then when Monahan gets injured again, and Kirby goes back to #2 centre, the game-playing with Kirby continues. Ultimately, this is not good for a career, to continuously be switched back n forth between two positions…

Last edited 5 months ago by Mike Klynsma

And remember, Beck was a late cut last year and could be ready to stick this year


Anderson played well with the top line!


He was playing great before he got injured, and Montreal is bound to improve by at least 10 points if they don’t have an injury list like the last 2 years. Anderson is leading by example by improving his skills unlike other veteran players.They were drags on Anderson.


Oh, and then there’s this:

Dach spent some time on the wing last season, showing fantastic chemistry alongside Suzuki and Cole Caufield, but there are healthy odds he ends up playing down the middle in 2023-24. The team wants Dach to be a centre, and Dach himself has expressed interest in returning to his natural position.

So once Dvorak is traded and Monahan goes back on IR, we scramble to find X to plug that #3 center? Not a good plan.


I’d rather see his ice time be used to develop kids like Slafkovsky, RHP and Ylönen than cross our fingers and pray this injury-prone player can finally make it through an entire season healthy so that we might be able to bring back some assets at the trade deadline. Watching Dadonov and Hoffman routinely get preferential playing time over Slafkovsky last season, so that we might be able to boost their trade value was extremely frustrating. It didn’t work then, and now we’re going to do it again with a player who gets hurt every year. Don’t get me wrong, I like Monahan the player. Suzuki was at his best last season when Monahan was around to take some of the defensive responsibilities, but I don’t want to see Slafkovsky be underutilized or RHP and Ylönen not put in positions to succeed just so we can showcase Monahan. Wasn’t this the strategy that failed for the past administration?


Drouin, Dadonov, Gurianov and Tierney as not returning, having Hoffman and Armia around is not perfect but there are openings for younger players. It sounds like Laval should have a great team this season as well, for the first time prospects will be playing in the AHL instead of jumping directly to the NHL, it seems to have worked for Detroit in the past. Now Hughes has to great rid of Edmundson (he was he worst player on the team last year, if only not to have to hear Bryan Mudryk calling him Edmonton for the millionth time)


Even with those guys leaving, we have 15 forwards (not including Gurianov, Belzile, Richard, etc) for only 12 spots. That’s not providing an opportunity for success for the kids.


Competition is the number one way to get the best out of these young players. If I was a young prospect trying to make the club, I would be training extremely hard during the summer to be able to outshine everyone else.. I think we are going to see a prospect or two really impress in training camp…


Merit used to be the #1 determinant in ice time, but that has changed in the cap era. Now, salary has a huge impact on who plays and who gets the most ice time.


If Monahan stays healthy and the rest of the team too, I think the Habs might be battling for a playoff spot next spring..