Montreal Canadiens: Elliotte Friedman Says Rangers Could Be Suitor For Sean Monahan

Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

For the Montreal Canadiens, Sean Monahan has become somewhat of a hot topic of late.

With the trade deadline inching closer and closer, hypothetical trade packages run rampant through Habs fans' minds. So the recent news from Elliotte Friedman on The 32 Thoughts Podcast about the New York Rangers' need and interest in Monahan. 

With Filip Chytil done for the year with an upper-body injury, the Rangers need a centre. Given the way they have played, it’s clear this team intends to compete for a Stanley Cup this season. Monahan would fill at minimum a top-nine centre role, and provide help on the powerplay and penalty-kill. 

A healthy Monahan is a huge difference-maker for the Canadiens, but it’s become abundantly clear that Kent Hughes can’t ignore the value he will bring via trade. Certainly, Hughes would like to stock the first-round pick shelf ahead of the 2024 Draft, but the Rangers have some young talents that would fill a need on the Habs roster. 

Rangers Trade Package For Monahan

The obvious choice for Hughes to target is Chris Drury’s 2023 first-round selection Gabe Perreault. He is an elite talent, who has familiarity with Habs 2023 third-round selection, goaltender Jacob Fowler. But the likelihood of the Rangers trading him isn’t very likely. 

However, the Rangers have some other great prospect talents that could interest Hughes. In my opinion, if the Canadiens are looking to acquire a need, one player stands out. Brennan Othmann is playing his first pro season with the Hartford Wolfpack and the winger has some intriguing tools. 

You would have to think that Monahan’s high value would play to Hughes benefit. Hypothetically, Monahan should retrieve, a pick and a prospect. Othmann is a great talent no doubt, but teams overpay for rental players all the time. 

The AHL All-Star is firing on all cylinders, and he hasn't missed a beat transitioning from junior hockey to the professional ranks. From OHL Champion with Owen Beck and the Peterborough Petes in 2022, to now playing in Hartford, Othmann would be a great target for Hughes.

What Does Othmann Bring To The Habs?

Othmann is a left-shot winger, who plays a high pace, high-intensity game. He is both quick and fast, he has quick feet and his strides are explosive. What he does with his separation speed is what sets him apart from other prospects. 

His quick release fuels a heavy, accurate shot, which he isn’t shy to use. Equally impressive to his shot and release, is his ability to shoot in stride. Like a wide receiver, Othmann skates different routes, which allows him to evade even the strongest defenders.

If you give him an inch in the offensive zone, he takes a mile. His quick-strike ability is unlike any player in the Canadiens system, not named Cole Caufield. And the fact that he is a left-shot gives the Canadiens a goal-scoring weapon from both sides on the man advantage. 

Away from the puck, Othmann is no slouch, so there’s no worry about acquiring a one-trick pony. He plays a physical hard-nosed game on the forecheck, finishing hard on his checks. On the backcheck he pressures opponents and forces turnovers in the neutral zone. 

If the Canadiens have the chance to bring in Othmann, then draft a top 15 talent in June, and bring Monahan back during Free Agency in July, Kent should explore that.