With the National Hockey League’s Trade Deadline quickly approaching the Montreal Canadiens will have to decide whether or not they’ll be sellers or buyers prior to March 8.
With all signs pointing to the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge missing the playoffs and looking to unload a few players that can help contending teams for a pretty penny, here’s a list of potential destinations for players Kent Hughes could decide to part with, and hypothetical returns.
Tanner Pearson is the definition of a depth addition. A team aiming to shore up their roster in case a regular player goes down could easily part with a late pick without losing sleep over it.
Potential buyers: Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, Rangers, Seattle, Vegas, and Winnipeg.
My hunch: Winnipeg. Kevin Cheveldayoff is historically not a big spender at the deadline. This is his kind of depth move.
Potential return: Not a lot to be expected here. A third-rounder? Maybe less. Next.
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) October 15, 2023
The 29-year-old centerman is fourth in scoring for the Montreal Canadiens with 31 points in 46 games. The center line is a key position a contender could be looking to bolster before the playoffs roll around and with his 56.4% efficiency in the dot, Monahan could be a great complementary piece to insulate the middle of the ice. There are pros and cons to trading him, and extension talks have been rumoured, but the return could be too good to pass up.
Potential buyers: Arizona, Boston, Colorado, Nashville, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
My hunch: Boston
Potential return: Monahan could realistically fetch a first-round pick with his brilliant play. But for a divisional rival, Kent Hughes would also demand extra assets. The Bruins are quite thin at center – will they be that desperate? With little available on the market, Don Sweeney could be forced to pony up, especially since their first pick should be outside of the top 25, anyway.
Sean Monahan sets up Joshua Roy for his first NHL goal! 👏
— NHL (@NHL) January 18, 2024
The 33-year-old goaltender boasts a .901 save percentage after 15 contests and has been a staple atop TSN’s trade bait board all year. He’s a veteran presence that could serve as an insurance policy for a team with shaky backup goaltending. With one more year to his contract beyond this season, it’s likely Kent Hughes will have to retain salary to accommodate the buyer.
Potential buyers: Carolina, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Toronto.
My hunch: Carolina
Potential return: The Montreal Canadiens could be looking to reunite the Suzuki brothers while adding center depth. Also, Kent Hughes seems to like to nab unproven players drafted in 2019 – this could be the perfect combo. Maybe not one-for-one, but this could be the basis of the trade.
OH MY, JAKE ALLEN! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/fg6bSuo1GX
— NHL (@NHL) November 13, 2023
Other potential trade bait
David Savard: The veteran right-handed defenceman could also be sent away. With the way Arber Xhekaj and Logan Mailloux clicked in Laval, Kent Hughes may be tempted to reunite them in Montreal, sooner than later – especially if Savard can fetch a nice return.
Mike Matheson: With the impending arrival of highly-touted offensive defenceman Lane Hutson, a major logjam is on the horizon. Matheson is currently 13th in points among defencemen in the NHL, with 32 points, ahead of players like Erik Karlsson, Devon Toews, and Kris Letang. His two extra contract years beyond this season complicate things (and render an in-season trade less likely) but crazier things have happened. With a bit of creativity and for the right price, maybe some magic can happen.
If not, expect Jayden Struble to be (undeservedly) sent down when Hutson arrives in the spring.
Mike Matheson with an early goal-of-the-year candidate.
End-to-end beauty. pic.twitter.com/MLJLiz5bSf
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 25, 2023
Is there another Montreal Canadiens player that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.