Montreal Canadiens Rumour: Artturi Lehkonen Name Popping Up In Trade Talks

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 18: Artturi Lehkonen #62 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on February 18, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 18: Artturi Lehkonen #62 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on February 18, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Montreal Canadiens have made a number of trades leading up to this afternoon’s trade deadline. Could Artturi Lehkonen be the next player on the move?

The Montreal Canadiens have made several trades leading up to the trade deadline that hits in just over one hour. The got an early start trading away Marco Scandella and Ilya Kovalchuk earlier this week, but continued to tinker by moving out Nate Thompson and Matthew Peca today.

All four of those players are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. That should give Dale Weise, Christian Folin and Keith Kinkaid pause before they make any long term plans in the greater Montreal area for next weekend. Those three are also going to be free agents at season’s end and could likely all be had for late round draft picks.

The Canadiens already have 14 picks in the upcoming NHL Draft that just so happens to be taking place in Montreal at the Bell Centre in June. Could they add even more picks? Could they move more pending free agents? What else does general manager Marc Bergevin have planned for today?

Well, there are rumours out there that Artturi Lehkonen‘s name has been out there in trade talks today as well. He is not a pending free agent this summer and will be a restricted free agent on July 1, 2021.  According to Adrian Dater, a reporter in the Colorado area, he is hearing Lehkonen’s name out there today.

Trading Lehkonen would be a big swerve from the other trades Bergevin has made this season. So far, he had moved out players who will not be here past July 1st anyway. Lehkonen is only 24 and could be a valuable piece for many years in Montreal.

He is one of the team’s best penalty killers and scores often enough to make you think he could be an excellent third line winger for this team for many years. Trading him would not be the typical trade deadline maneuver by a seller.

There has been a lot of smoke between the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche in the past week. Marc Bergevin took in a pair of games in Denver last week and brought his assistant, Scott Mellanby with him to watch those contests. Lehkonen was made a healthy scratch the day Bergevin returned from Denver. Did he think a deal was close enough at that time to sit out Lehkonen?

There has to be some sort of negotiation going on between the Habs staff and Joe Sakic. Could that be where these Lehkonen rumours are heading? Who could the Habs be interested in acquiring from the Avalanche in a Lehkonen deal?

Tyson Jost is an interesting option. He was the tenth overall pick in 2017 but hasn’t broken through at the NHL level quite yet. The Avs plan on going on a deep playoff run this season and though Jost could be a. great player down the road, Lehkonen would add more value when the Avalanche are battling the Dallas Stars and/or St. Louis Blues in the playoffs.

Next. Kreider Signing Makes Tatar More Valuable. dark

The deadline is getting closer and the rumours always continue up to the last minute. This one is definitely worth keeping an eye on for fans of the Montreal Canadiens.