Montreal Canadiens: Trade Deadline Preview

Kent Hughes (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Kent Hughes (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Apr 21, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson (Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 21, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson (Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

First, let’s preface this by saying that health is crucial for the Canadiens over the next few weeks. Both Edmundson and Monahan have missed significant time due to injuries, not just this season but in their careers. Edmundson hasn’t played since January 26th, and Monahan hasn’t played since January 5th. It’s hard to garner interest in guys who can’t stay on the ice.  The good news is it appears as though Monahan is close to returning after ditching the non-contact jersey for practice on Friday.

If both players can return to the ice soon and play well for that short stretch, the Canadiens should be able to facilitate a deal for them. In the games Monahan has played in, he’s been excellent, putting up 17 points in 25 games. That’s great production for a guy Calgary had to trade a first-round pick with to move. And while he was injured, it was not related to the hip issues Monahan had previously suffered with, a good sign for his long-term health and something that shouldn’t scare off many teams.

As for Edmundson, he’s missed time on multiple occasions this season, a worrying sight. That isn’t something that is going to attract a lot of teams, but his play on the ice could. When healthy, Edmundson is a big defenseman, capable of killing penalties and clearing the front of the net. Edmundson also won a Stanley Cup in 2019 with the Blues and went to the Cup finals again in 2021 with the Canadiens. So he’s got plenty of experience in the playoffs, which is a huge plus for anyone looking at adding him.

Currently, it appears to be a buyer’s market, meaning teams acquiring assets appear to be giving up less than last year. However, that could change as we near the deadline and the market continues to heat up. I wouldn’t expect a Ben Chiarot-like return for Joel Edmundson this year, though, especially with the injury concerns. However, Edmundson does still have a year left on his contract, so the Canadiens don’t have to move him.

Luckily for Montreal in regards to Monahan, two big-name centreman have already come off the board in Bo Horvat and Ryan O’Reilly. This could mean teams in the market for a centre start getting a little desperate and feel the need to “up the ante” to avoid being left shorthanded. In addition, Monahan is on an expiring deal, and the Canadiens could easily retain 50% of his salary to make him even more attractive to teams.

The Canadiens would be wise to add another first-round pick to their embarrassment of riches, especially for 2023, a much stronger draft than last year’s. If the Canadiens were going to make moves between now and the deadline, Monahan and Edmundson would surely be two names to keep an eye on. They might not be the likeliest to go, but they would be the most likely to be moved while also fetching a significant return.