Montreal Canadiens: Three Teams Most Likely To Be Habs Trade Partners Before Trade Deadline

Feb 11, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Joel Armia (40) celebrates with
Feb 11, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Joel Armia (40) celebrates with / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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Tampa Bay Lightning

There is sort of an unwritten rule in hockey that division rivals don't make trades with each other. Well, the Lindholm trade we just spoke about between the Canucks and Flames is proof that rule isn't always adhered to.

The Canadiens and Lightning have made trades before and the biggest one did not go well for the Habs. They traded Mikhail Sergachev to the Lightning six years ago and he has turned into a terrific defender and helped the team win two Stanley Cups in his career so far.

The problem for the Lightning is Sergachev suffered another serious injury this season and is done for the year. The Lightning need to fill his void on the blue line and have some serious cap room for the first time in pretty much ever since Sergachev's $8.5 million cap hit is now on long term injured reserve.

Why not reach out to the Canadiens again to find a top four defenseman that can put up points?

With Victor Hedman at the top of their depth chart, and Erik Cernak playing a rough and tumble shutdown role on the right side, the Lightning have two top four defenders. Unfortunately, with Sergchaev out, that is pretty much it as Darren Raddysh and Nick Perbix are forced into big roles.

The Lightning need another top four defenseman in their quest for another Stanley Cup and Mike Matheson would fit that role perfectly. They have the cap space with Sergachev out, and have not been shy in the past to aggerssively fill a need ahead of a playoff run.

Pairing Matheson with Cernak would give the Lightning an excellent second pairing behind Hedman and Raddysh or Perbix and allow them to compete with the league's best teams in a playoff series this spring.

It would take a lot to get the Canadiens to say yes, but this is the Lightning who traded a truck load of draft picks for Tanner Jeannot when they wanted a hard working third line winger. The Lightning don't have a first round pick until 2026 but the Canadiens can be patient and hope the Lightning tumble in the standings in a couple years.

They would also like to add Ethan Gauthier who was a first round pick last season and is scoring at will in the QMJHL as an 18 year old this season.

The Lightning are among the most aggressive teams when it comes to trades in the whole league. The Canadiens have exactly what they need. These two teams make perfect trade partners since the Sergachev injury.