MONTREAL — There is never an off day when it comes to all things Montreal Canadiens, but there aren’t always enough hours in the week to keep up with all the stories and highlights. Every Sunday we recap the most exciting and relevant NHL news stories that you may have missed throughout the week so that you can stay in the loop.
- ICYMI: The Montreal Canadiens pushed the Pittsburgh Penguins to overtime. They enter the All-Star break coming off a loss, but players like Juraj Slafkovsky, Kaiden Guhle, and Jake Allen can be proud of their effort. [Canadiens Guhle, Slafkovsky, And Allen Shine In OT Loss]
- The second line featuring Slafkovsky, Sean Monahan, and Joel Armia led the charge against the Penguins in a game where the rest of the offence stalled. It’s an encouraging result given that Slafkovsky has produced very solid numbers since he was removed from the top line. He is driving the play, and it shows up in the numbers.
The Juraj Slafkovsky – Sean Monahan – Joel Armia line once again led the Habs in shot share (CF%) and expected goals (xGF%).
They held a 6-5 advantage in high-danger chances at 5v5 in a game where the Habs generated just 9 and allowed 19(!).
Via Natural Stat Trick.
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) January 28, 2024
- Laval Rocket defenceman Nicolas Beaudin hadn’t been playing much this season. Consequently, the team and Beaudin decided to mutually terminate his contract. It was a process that had been in the works for a few weeks. Beaudin had a very solid season in 2022-23, but had fallen out of favour this year with the influx of prospects that joined the Canadiens’ farm team.
Nicolas Beaudin (MON) on unconditional waivers for purposes of contract termination
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 28, 2024
- The Canadiens re-assigned centre Lucas Condotta to the AHL so he can join the Rocket during the All-Star week.
- The Montreal Canadiens will have plenty of options when it comes to the players who may be moved by the NHL’s Trade Deadline. Players like Jake Allen and Sean Monahan are likely to be moved, however, there are other potential deals to be done involving some less-discussed trade chips. [Canadiens Potential Trade Partners And Returns At NHL Deadline]
- The Canadiens are among the bottom five teams in many important statistical categories, but goaltender Samuel Montembeault continues to steal points, which is reflected in the standings.
Sam Montembeault's even strength numbers the past two seasons have been pretty incredible:
.918SV%, tied 12th with Vasilevskiy, Fleury
+26.44 Goals Saved Above Expected, 5th in NHL
— Nathan "Grav" (@NathanGraviteh) January 29, 2024
- Prior to the move by the Habs, Hockey Insider Elliotte Friedman brought up an interesting trade scenario involving Montreal Canadiens veteran Sean Monahan. He suggested the New York Rangers should be interested in the centre, especially now that they have lost Filip Chytil for the entire season. [Canadiens Trades: Examining The Monahan To Rangers Rumour]
The Montreal Canadiens need to add more prospects to the mix who possess natural scoring talent, an organizational weakness that general manager Kent Hughes has surely noticed. Aside from Cole Caufield, the club lacks players with elite goal-scoring abilities. Considering that four of the top 10 prospects are defencemen gives merit to the idea that high-potential forwards could potentially slip down the draft board. [Canadiens Have Intriguing Options In Top 10 NHL Draft Forwards]
- Check out the latest edition of the Montreal Canadiens prospect power rankings. Lane Hutson returns to his familiar spot on the list, while Owen Beck cracked the top 3 and Logan Mailloux makes the top 5. [Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings: Mailloux And Beck Shine]
- Canadiens fans are well aware there’s a strong possibility the team will trade forward Sean Monahan. There have been rumblings about the potential return, with some expecting a first-round pick coming Montreal’s way. TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun chimed in on the discussion during the latest edition of Insider Trading. “The Canadiens will most likely be dealing him, though they haven’t completely closed the door on him about a possible extension,” said LeBrun. “All things being equal, I think he’s going to get dealt. Word is right now is that teams have not put their best foot forward yet. Teams seem to want a couple more weeks before becoming serious about Sean Monahan. Could Sean Monahan fetch a first-round pick? Talking to a couple of teams today, a lot of people point to his low, less than $2 million AAV, and say yes, especially if the Habs would be willing to eat 50 percent of that.” [Pros And Cons Of Potential Montreal Canadiens Sean Monahan Trade]
- In addition to discussing Monahan, the TSN Insiders also mentioned New York Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko is available on the NHL’s trade market. Kakko has just five goals and one assist in 28 games this season, though we do have to admit his ice time is limited. Last year he managed 18 goals and 22 assists in 82 games. He’s the type of reclamation project Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes likes to take on. The 22-year-old is still relatively young and possesses some untapped potential.
- 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. [Impact Of Lindholm Trade On Canadiens, Monahan Trade Talks]
- Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki was drafted by superstar Connor McDavid at the 2024 NHL All-Star Game.
- Suzuki also answered questions from some members of the media. It’s the fourth time Suzuki has been invited to participate in the All-Star festivities and his third time as an actual NHL All-Star.
Nick Suzuki répond aux questions des médias à Toronto, dans le cadre du Weekend des étoiles 2024 de la LNH
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) February 1, 2024
- The Montreal Canadiens did not wait long to make their move following the trade that saw Elias Lindholm make his way to the Vancouver Canucks. Kent Hughes traded Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a first-round pick in 2024 and a conditional third-round pick in 2027. [Canadiens Trade Sean Monahan To Winnipeg Jets]
- Considering the Habs received a first-round pick to absorb Monahan’s contract from Calgary last year, the additional first-round pick they got from Winnipeg is just the cherry on top of the excellent-trade sundae. [Instant Analysis: Canadiens Get Fantastic Value In Monahan Deals]
- The Canadiens received a healthy return for Monahan, but there’s no doubt his absence will leave a significant gap in the lineup. On the flip side, the trade will have a positive impact on the long-term rebuild plans and the 2024 NHL Draft. [Impact Of Sean Monahan Trade On Canadiens Lineup And Rebuild]
- Hughes met with the media following the trade and touched on a few interesting topics, including some information about the process involved in the deal, the possibility of trading more veterans, and more. [Habs GM Kent Hughes Discusses Monahan Trade, Upcoming Trades]
- The New York Islanders placed forward Julien Gauthier on waivers. The 2016 first-round pick has scored five goals and nine assists in 27 games this season. He’s relatively young and has a big frame, but there are a few red flags in his game. [2016 First-Round Pick Available To Canadiens On NHL Waivers]
- The NHL announced that players will participate in both the 2026 (Milan) and 2030 (TBD) Winter Olympics.
— NHL (@NHL) February 2, 2024
- Prospect Jacob Fowler was once again named the goaltender of the month for Hockey East (NCAA).
Congrats to Jacob Fowler on being named the Hockey East Goaltender of the Month 🔥 pic.twitter.com/XooW9GDgbD
— /r/Habs (@HabsOnReddit) February 2, 2024
- Monahan’s games played bonus will still count against the Canadiens’ year-end salary cap
Of note in the Sean Monahan trade: His $15,000 games played bonus will be applied to the #habs year-end cap total since it was earned while he played for them. The remainder of his salary goes to the #NHLJets.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 2, 2024