Habs Get Monahan And a 1st For… Nothing

By JD Lagrange – It was so complicated, that even the NHL didn’t understand the conditions attached to a major trade which sent center Sean Monahan and a conditional first round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for… nothing in return. Well, they call it “future consideration”. So Flames’ GM Brad Treliving and his counterpart, Kent Hughes, ironed out a few wrinkles and the deal was finally announced… and few understand the conditions, still. But it sort of boils down to this:

It is important to note that the move allowed the Flames to sign UFA Nazem Kadri to a seven year, $49 million contract. He will replace departing UFA Johnny Gaudreau, who signed as a UFA with the Columbus Blue Jackets a while ago.

Who is Monahan?

Sean Monahan

Let’s start from the beginning. Sean Monahan was the Flames’ first round pick in 2013, selected sixth overall. The 6-foot 2-inches, 200 lbs center, who will turn 28 years old in October, is in the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $6.375 million. So far so good.

Last season, the former 30-goals’ scorer played 65 games and managed only eight goals, 23 points and had a success rate of 53.2% in the faceoffs’ dot.

Injuries, including surgeries, have taken a toll on his game; he is no longer the scorer who put up seven straight 20-goal seasons. However, he still knows how to find the quiet spots on the ice to get his shot off and can still produce in a diminished role.

Hip injuries

For the past two seasons, Monahan had to cut his seasons short due to not one, but two hips injuries, on which he was operated on.

The following is an excerpt from thewincolumn.ca:

2021-21: With the Flames out of the playoffs, Monahan was shut down to undergo hip surgery on his left side. As a faceoff-taker, struggling with hip issues is a major concern for his ability to play the game. He allegedly suffered the injury quite early in the season, and struggled to walk after practice, yet he continued to play to help his team win games.

2021-22: He was shut down for the season to undergo hip surgery on his right hip this time. This is retroactive to April 1, which means he may have been injured in the overtime loss to Los Angeles or it could have been aggravated even more that night to the point where the surgery was necessary now as opposed to in the off-season.

Monahan is beloved in the room, and has done so much to pull the franchise to where it is today. It is hard to overstate just how much he has given to make this team what it is today, and his history of playing through injuries is just the icing on that cake.

So the Canadiens are getting a good guy. A character guy who is not only talented, but a real pro. The big question mark is if he can return to form or not. The fact that he is scheduled to become a UFA after this season could make him yet another great asset for the Canadiens at trade deadline.

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Habs Top-5 Trade Deadline Assets

Every year, you have teams trying to load up for a playoffs’ run. And every year, you have teams trying to cash in on desperate GMs willing to pay an astonishing high price to acquire some help for their team in hope to win the Stanley Cup. This upcoming season won’t be any different and the Canadiens are setting themselves up to benefit from it for a second year in a row.

At the past trade deadline, rookie GM Kent Hughes traded away Tyler Toffoli, Ben Chiarot, Brett Kulak and Artturi Lehknonen. In return, he obtained the following:

  • William Lagesson
  • Tyler Pitlick
  • Justin Barron
  • Ty Smilanic
  • Emil Heineman
  • 2022 1st round pick (CGY – #26 – Filip Mesar)
  • 2023 1st round pick (FLA)
  • 2022 2nd round pick (EDM – #62 – Lane Hutson)
  • 2024 2nd round pick (COL)
  • 2022 4th round pick (NYR – #127 – Cedrick Guindon)
  • 2024 4th round pick (CGY)
  • 2023 5th round pick (CGY)
  • 2024 7th round pick (EDM)

2022-23 Trade Candidates

With the Canadiens picked by most to finish dead last in a stronger Atlantic division, it sure seems like Hughes is setting his team up for yet another solid trade deadline. Based on the current roster, which obviously could still change, here are his best assets, players that should draw plenty of interest in February and March 2023.

Jonathan Drouin

1- JONATHAN DROUIN – Also in the final year of his contract ($5.5 million), Drouin has only played two games under Martin St-Louis and he represents an interesting project for the new head coach. Offensively gifted, it will be interesting to see how he does and what the Canadiens decide between trading or extending him.

2- EVGENII DADONOV – Acquired from the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the salary cap dump of Shea Weber’s contract, the 33 year-old Dadonov has been a perennial 20-goals’ scorer. He is in the final year of a contract paying him $5 million.

3- JAKE ALLEN – It is being reported that teams are calling for Allen, who is entering the final year of a contract paying him $2.875 million. But with the unknown status of Carey Price and the Canadiens almost burning prospect Cayden Primeau by bringing him up too soon last season, Hughes would be wise to hang onto Allen until trade deadline.

4- PAUL BYRON – It seems like his hip surgery hasn’t brought the anticipated relief for Byron. The 33 year-old veteran is likely going to start the season on the injured reserve and his future is uncertain. If he can return and prove that he can contribute, he could be a trade bait.

5- MIKE HOFFMAN – He’s the only one on this list with term left as he will have one more year remaining after this one, with a cap hit of $4.5 million. So his situation would be very similar to Tyler Toffoli last season. With most of this season’s salary paid by trade deadline, he would offer good secondary scoring for one more year at a decent cap hit.

As you can see, it is conceivable that Hughes could get another strong trade deadline and add some other young NHL-ready players, prospects and picks which, hopefully, would accelerate the ‘re-whatever‘ the team is doing. With an already rich bank of prospects and counting 11 more picks so far at next summer’s NHL Draft, the future could be even brighter.

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