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Impact Of Lindholm Trade On Canadiens, Monahan Trade Talks

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The Montreal Canadiens got a significant amount of good news after the Vancouver Canucks plucked Elias Lindholm off the trade board.

By far the biggest fish, in terms of rentals, leading up to the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline, Elias Lindholm‘s move to Vancouver has changed the playing field.

The Canucks were aggressive in trying to secure their No.1 target early, trading Andrei Kuzmenko, prospects Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo, a 2024 1st-round pick and a conditional 2024 4th-round pick.

That’s quite a haul for the 29-year-old pivot, who will slot in nicely into Vancouver’s top-six. During his post-trade press conference, Flames general manager Craig Conroy confirmed that there there were more than five teams that were very interested in Lindholm, all of whom he qualified as “serious trade candidates”.

With Lindholm off the board, all of these clubs must now pivot to look into other options, and that’s where the Montreal Canadiens come in.

Right Place, Right Time

With Lindholm off the NHL trade market, only two potential top-six/nine rental centers remain: Montreal’s Sean Monahan and Anaheim’s Adam Henrique.

With NHL betting odds pegging both the Anaheim Ducks and the Montreal Canadiens for a bottom-10 finish, it seems almost inevitable that both of these players will be moved; especially now.

With a handful of teams still looking for help down the middle, the Canadiens can now begin to drum up a market for Sean Monahan; who’s performed quite well for the Canadiens.

In 49 games, the 29-year-old has potted 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points in 49 games; good for third in points on the Canadiens behind Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield.

Yes, 16 of Monahan’s 35 points have come from the powerplay, but that’s to be expected; given that Montreal only has 83 even strength goals in 49 games (a quarter coming from their defencemen). That ranks as the fourth lowest output in the NHL at the moment.

Factor in that Monahan has been able to be this productive despite his most common linemates being Josh Anderson, Brendan Gallagher, Jake Evans and Tanner Pearson; and it’s easy to understand why he will be coveted at the NHL Trade Deadline.

Perfect Package

However, Monahan brings much more than just points to the table. On top of pacing toward a 60-point campaign, Monahan is also one of the best faceoff specialists in the league; sporting a 55% ratio and consistently being deployed in crucial situations.

Logging an average of 18:27 per game, Monahan is used in every facet of the game for the Canadiens; be it on the power play, penalty kill, even strength and even in overtime. In short, he’s a Swiss Army Knife.

That’s the kind of versatility that usually nets a notable return at the NHL Trade Deadline. You can look back to other comparable centers like Andrew Copp, Kevin Hayes and Paul Stastny to see that those kind of players are rarely available at this time of year.

And, whenever top-six centers are available, they tend to go quickly and for big prices, as seen last January with Bo Horvat and now with Elias Lindholm. With Henrique and Monahan, teams still have a chance to fill their need at center, but the temperature just went up a notch.

What does the Market Look Like?

Let’s run down the potential suitors:

The Colorado Avalanche are in major need of an upgrade at centre, with Nathan MacKinnon doing all of the heavy lifting, as Ross Colton and Ryan Johansen haven’t been able to lock down the second-line centre role for the Avalanche. With depth on the wing and at defence, upgrading down the middle seems like the missing piece they need to make a run; especially with how MacKinnon has been playing of late.

The Winnipeg Jets also find themselves in a similar situation. Even before Mark Schiefele’s injury, they were extremely thin at centre. For them to come out of the Central Division this year, an improvement in that department is necessary, as Mark Scheifele, Vladislav Namestnikov and Adam Lowry are simply not enough to sustain a long-term playoff run.

The New Jersey Devils have also been looking into improving their centre depth, as Justin Dowling and Curtis Lazar are currently occupying top-nine centre roles at the moment in Jack Hughes’ absence.

The New York Rangers are also in a bind, having just lost Filip Chytil for the year and looking to keep pace in an uber-competitive Eastern Conference.

Will He Get a 1st-Round Pick?

Given that Lindholm returned a roster player (albeit a bit of a cap dump), a 1st-round pick, a conditional 4th-round pick, a promising prospect in Brzustewicz and Jurmo; it would lead to reason that the price range has been set.

Now, Monahan is not in the same conversation as Horvat or Lindholm per se, but it can be argued that his value shouldn’t be far off from what Lindholm netted from the Vancouver Canucks.

Monahan has been more productive this season, thanks in part to his prowess on the powerplay, but Lindholm is seen as a more reliable asset that can quickly return to his point-per-game ways in a contending club.

Monahan will likely slot in as a 3rd-line centre or a top-six winger, that can move up your lineup in a pinch in the case of injury; something he’s done exceedingly well in Montreal for the past two seasons.

The benefit that Monahan has, however, is his contract. His $1.975M contract makes him an easy fit for almost any team in the NHL, while Henrique’s $5.8M contract will like require the Anaheim Ducks to retain on his deal to fit in most contender’s salary structure.

With teams like the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Winnipeg Jets already known to be looking for help down the middle, the pickings just got slimmer and a bidding war will likely ensue to ensure they don’t miss the boat, like they did with Lindholm.

Even if we were all to agree that Lindholm’s value was a good level above Monahan’s, it would be hard to argue now that Monahan wouldn’t be worth at least a first-round pick; even if you didn’t have red, blue and white pajamas.

*For more NHL betting lines and futures, head over to FanDuel

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morrisk

I can argue that Sean is now worth just as much as Elias as we approach the TDL. Even if we all agree that Elias is a slight upgrade over Sean, because Elias went first, that now means only 2 legit centers are left – Sean being one of them. So when supply gets thinner, prices go up. I see the Habs being able to extract a 1st, a 3rd, and a mid-range prospect.

But I would make that deal as soon as possible. Sean has nothing left to gain this season as far as stats are concerned…but we have everything to lose if he gets injured. NEED to move him within a week or two.

Dealing with the Devils (that’s funny) is the best option, since out of the 4 teams mentioned above, they are most likely to not make the playoffs – or barely squeak in and get eliminated in the first two rounds. So their first round pick would be higher. But the Devils are still young and their “window” isn’t necessarily now yet…so do they really want to go all in for a run this season? I say no. So I think its either the Avs or Rangers as the trade partner for Sean. That means a low 1st round pick – so there must be another pick + a prospect (at least) to complete this deal. The goal is to “make” a team overpay for Sean…which certain teams do every season in order to sell out and make a serious run.

Pierre B.

If there were more than five teams that were very interested in Lindholm, all of whom he qualified as “serious trade candidates”, one must understand that no other team were willing to outbid Vancouver for Lindholm. Well, since they were all qualified as serious, one should expect a similar bidding war. If Monahan fetches a reclamation project like Kuzmenko and a 1st-round pick, or a 1st-round pick and a prospect like Brzustewicz (Vancouver’s 3rd best prospect), I’ll be quite happy.

John Spearing

I’d rather young players or A prospects..
I’m eying Poitras (Bos),
Ritchie (Col),
or Pertrault (NYR)

I’d probably do any of those 1 for 1

peter

Why is Lindholm superior to him as he has less points than Monahan. He is also older, Monahan is better on the power play, penalty killing, superior shooting percentage, they are basically equal on face-offs, tied in game winning goals. Monahan is hot now with 11 points in his last 7 games.

Ghg55

I’m not diminishing monahan at all. He’s definitely worth a 1st and a bit more. But lindholm has several recent season of performing well. Monahan has been great this season, arguably better than lindholm based on linemates, but it’s a less than 50 game sample size. He’s more injury prone too. I think that part gets blown out of proportion cuz his main repeat injury (hips) haven’t been an issue for almost 2 years now, but if you’re giving up good assets for just a rental, you want to make sure that rental will play.
The big thing adding to his value is that cap hit. Teams don’t have money. Luckily they don’t need much for him.

So there are definitely arguments that lindholm is more valuable. But it’s not going to be by a ton. He’s definitely getting a first now. But don’t expect a ton more to be thrown in. Maybe another pick, but it could be a second. Honestly don’t be surprised if it’s just a first. But don’t be surprised if it’s more. Just also don’t expect what lindholm got. Any GM would get obliterated if they gave that up for monahan and then monahan got injured. And let’s be honest, as habs fans we don’t want the return to be based on games played, which means it makes sense why gms would be hesitant to take him.

My max guess, a 1st and 2nd. Minimum a first and I’ll be happy with that.

I don’t want more middle 6 prospects or any kind of D prospects. We’re full of both. Unless there’s a package for a star that includes monahan, I want picks so they can be packaged in another trade for a star or to trade up in the draft.

mikeysl

I want Lambert a first next year and our 2024 second from the Jets for Monahan and Savard

Pierre B.

I like your suggestion. Lambert is their 4th best prospect, he’s really a hit or miss prospect. If he hits, he’s a top-6 forward; so the risk might be worth it. The MTL 2024 2nd-round pick is a good return for Savard, not quite a 1st-round pick, but close enough. Salary retention on Savard would be needed to make it work moneywise, but why not? In the past, I’ve seen worst trades for the buyers ahead of the deadline.

Pierre B.

A 1st-round pick should typically be part of any opening bid; the conditional 4th is fair compensation when the buyer makes it to the semi-finals as the 1st-round pick downgrades to one in the 29 to 32 range. What is offered on top of that is what differentiates the offers. In a bidding war with 5 teams qualified as serious, this will be the interesting part. Prying away a prospect like Seamus Casey from the NJD (a promising RHD like Brzustewicz) would be much better than a 2nd-round draft pick. Obviously, we do not know which prospects are off the table, but we often get surprised.

tony

Monohan could get a first-rounder but to what point? How many prospects do you need? we will need a couple of promising forwards preferably with some NHL experience. Getting a low draft choice is useless at this point. The Habs have enough prospects and enough draft choices in the next three years.