NHL Rumors: Habs’ Sean Monahan underrated trade deadline target

Sean Monahan was a cap casualty for the Calgary Flames this summer after signing free agent center Nazem Kadri. The solid two-center and his entire salary was dumped to the Montreal Canadiens along with a conditional first-round draft pick in exchange for future considerations.

The conditions on the pick are extremely convoluted but you can read them on the Habs website.

Monahan, 28, has recorded 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 25 games this season for the struggling Canadiens. He’s currently on LTIR with a lower-body injury suffered against the Vancouver Canucks on December 5.

The pending UFA has a cap hit of $6.375M AAV and will likely require Montreal to retain up to 50% of his salary in order to make a trade work at the deadline.

Sean Monahan underrated trade deadline target

nhl rumors sean monahan
Oct 12, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan (91) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

There are a number of centers available for the upcoming NHL Trade Deadline (March 3). Names everyone talks about are both captains. St. Louis Blues’ Ryan O’Reilly and Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews are going to be aggressively pursued if available.

Another big name center that will definitely be traded is Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat. The difference between him and the previous two players mentioned is he’s not a typical rental. The asking price is huge because he’s in his prime at 27. Acquiring teams must be ready to surrender a first-round pick and a top prospect just for starters. Anyone trading for Horvat will likely want to discuss contract extension before making the deal.

While some contenders are chasing the big fish, a low-key value add could be Sean Monahan. The big-bodied center is already attracting the interest of the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

“I think the Colorado Avalanche is a team to monitor when it comes to Sean Monahan,” Pierre LeBrun stated on TSN’s Insider Trading. “When it comes to Ryan O’Reilly or Bo Horvat, yes I think the Avs are going to keep tabs on those situations. However, they don’t have a lot of future assets… That’s why I think a guy like Monahan makes sense and that’s why it’s a name I know the Avs have talked about.”

Prior to the start of this season, there were plenty of questions regarding Monahan’s troubling injury history. For two consecutive years, he’s been unable to complete a full campaign due to hip surgery.

“I’ve got a lot to prove, and I think the biggest thing is I want to prove it to myself,” Monahan said before camp. “I know I’m a great player. It’s been a rocky road, so I’ve been working really hard this summer.”

Of course, this latest injury raises concerns but with the Habs not in playoff contention there’s no need to rush him back. That being said, teams will want to see him in action prior to making a deal.

As for what the asking price is? It’s safe to assume that the Habs’ will ask for a first-round pick but it’s possible that a lesser pick with a prospect attached could get the deal done.