Montreal Canadiens: Ridiculous Trade Shows Sean Monahan's Value Is Sky High

Jan 10, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan (91)
Jan 10, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan (91) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens are in the midst of the All-Star break. That means everyone aside from Nick Suzuki is vacationing down south somewhere while the team captain gets ready to represent the team in Toronto.

An argument could be made that more Canadiens deserve to be with Suzuki this weekend, but he will be the lone players wearing any Canadiens gear when the top players in the league gather for a unique draft, skills competition and game.

This is typically a quieter time on the trade front, which means Sean Monahan rumors were expected to cool down this week. Except, a ridiculous blockbuster trade went down last night and it shows just how high Monahan's trade value really is right now.

Elias Lindholm was traded by the Calgary Flames, to the division rival Vancouver Canucks for an insane return. The Flames landed Andrei Kuzmenko, who scored 39 goals and 74 points as a rookie last season. They also picked up the Canucks 2024 first round draft pick. Also heading Calgary's way is prospect defenseman Hunter Brzustewicz, 21 year old Joni Jurmo and a fourth round pick.

Brzustewicz plays for the Kitchener Rangers, Filip Mesar's team, and they both play a big role on the team's top power play. Brzustewicz is a right shooting defenseman who has eight goals and 69 points in 47 OHL games this season which has him on pace for 100 points as a 19 year old defender.

Brzustewicz was a third round pick of the Canucks last season, but his value has skyrocketed this season.

So, for Lindholm, the Flames were able to reel in a first round pick, a top prospect and a 27 year old NHL player who has 21 points in 43 games though he was a point per game scorer a year ago. Throw in a depth prospect and a mid round pick and you land Lindholm.

Most believed Lindholm was the top center on the trade market, but Monahan's value can not be that much less. Lindholm has nine goals and 32 points in 49 games this season. Monahan has 13 goals and 35 points in 49 games.

Lindholm is considered to be having a down year but he had 64 points a season ago. Before injury (one he has completely recovered from), Monahan was on pace for 56 points last season. Lindholm has a career high of 82 points. Monahan has a career high of 82 points. Lindholm is 29 years old. Monahan is 29 years old. Lindholm is a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $4.85 million. Monahan is a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $1.985 million.

Lindholm is regarded as a better defensive player, but Monahan is not hurting any team with his play in his own zone. Monahan's been incredible in the faceoff dot, has proven to be a dangerous threat in front of the net on the power play.

When you add it all up, Lindholm's defensive play helps his value, but Monahan's cap hit makes a trade easier to absorb for other teams. The difference in trade value between these two players is not that much.

Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes needs to be asking not just for a first round pick, but also a good prospect and mid round pick as well.

One of the first big trades made by Hughes was when he traded Tyler Toffoli for a first round pick, Emil Heineman, Tyler Pitlick and a fifth round pick. This is a different scenario because Monahan's a free agent after this season and he plays center, but that is the type of value Hughes should be looking for in return right now.