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Canadiens Analysis

Montreal Canadiens Among Teams Interested In Top Trade Target



montreal canadiens martin necas

It’s no secret the Montreal Canadiens are looking to add a little more firepower to the mix this summer.

But it won’t be easy.

The Canadiens are attempting to pivot away from seasons in which they spend the majority of the schedule in the league’s basement, which would mark the end of the draft-orientated expectations, and consequently, the next step in the rebuild.

Adding players via free agency can help in some cases, but given the team is looking for players who would fit within the window that is expected to open once the core players are in their statistical prime, a trade seems like the most likely outcome.

Many NHL Suitors

One of the most enticing names on the NHL’s trade market is Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas.

The 25-year-old is coming off back-to-back 20-goal seasons in which he provided great value to the Hurricanes, seeing as he signed a two-year, $3 million annual average value (AAV) contract extension.

According to Pierre LeBrun, the Montreal Canadiens are among the teams who have inquired about the Necas’ price tag, though they’re far from the only team interested in acquiring the talented centre.

“[The Hurricanes] are trying to narrow it down to realistic opportunities for a potential trade. Five to seven teams invite intriguing possibilities for them,” he said. “No one has gone up to the price they’d like. Boston, Chicago, Winnipeg, and Montreal are among the teams who have inquired.”

Martin Necas Value

This leads us to the next stage, figuring out what can Kent Hughes offer Carolina that lead to the framework of a trade.

The Habs undoubtedly need players like Necas, but they have to be careful when embarking in trade negotiations for a player who is due for a large raise, which is certainly the case for the Hurricanes forward.

Of course, there’s the 26th overall pick, which the Canadiens acquired when they sent forward Sean Monahan to the Winnipeg Jets ahead of the 2024 NHL trade deadline. The Hurricanes are scheduled to draft 27th overall, just one pick behind the Canadiens.

The Hurricanes are a team that is looking to win now, which may also mitigate some of the possibilities when it comes to using draft capital to get a deal done.

Unless they’re interested in veterans, Montreal doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to impact up front, though their overabundance of defencemen does give them some interesting options.

The Hurricanes will have a very busy summer, with seven free agents and five restricted free agents in the mix, including Necas. Three of the free agents are members of the defensive group: Tony Deangleo, Brett Pesce, and Brady Skej.

If they’re intent on hitting the free agency market, the Canadiens may have an answer to Carolina’s defensive woes among the seven or eight defencemen who are intent on playing in the NHL next season. Many of the younger defencemen have very reasonable contracts, which could help Carolina navigate their difficult salary-cap situation.

The Hurricanes have roughly the same amount of salary cap space the Canadiens will once they put Carey Price’s contract on LTIR, but they also have to re-sign Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Martinook, Seth Jarvis, Jack Drury, and Stefan Noesen, among others.

We also have to consider the history between Montreal and Carolina, which eventually led to the Hurricanes signing Jesperi Kotkaniemi to a very rich contract extension, a decision they probably regret seeing as he finished the season as a fourth-line winger.

Tom Dundon is still the owner of the Hurricanes franchise, which means there may still be some bad blood in the water, but neither general manager that participated in the petty back-and-forth in 2021 is still with their respective team, which connotes there may be a possibility both groups can act like professional business people next time they interact with each other.