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Mike Matheson, a candidate likely to be traded at the 24-25 deadline?
Mike Matheson played a meager 48 games in his first year with the Montreal Canadiens.

The facts are clear, however. When healthy, he was the club’s best defenseman… And it goes without saying that the Quebecer wowed the gallery with his offensive instincts and simply elegant skating.

When he was acquired in the deal that sent Jeff Petry to Pittsburgh, we didn’t expect him to be that good. In fact, we were mainly looking at his production in Florida and Pittsburgh to get an idea of his style, and let’s just say that Matheson has far exceeded the expectations that were placed on him.

At the salary he’s earning, Matheson could quickly become an NHL steal, because he’s paid $4.875 million annually until the end of the 2025-2026 season. That’s an attractive price/quality ratio for any team in the league…

And if he continues to perform like this, it’s certain that teams will be calling Kent Hughes to inquire about his availability. This could be the case as early as next season…

But Arpon Basu sees him more as a candidate to be traded at the 24-25 trade deadline:

There’s a logical reasoning behind The Athletic journalist’s idea.

In fact, Basu believes that, at that point, the Habs might be tempted to send Matheson elsewhere if they feel the club’s young defensemen have enough experience to take over.

It’s true that Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Jordan Harris and Justin Barron would be in their third full NHL season (considering they’re playing all of next season)…

But the CH, in my eyes, can’t have such a young defense if the club wants to be competitive for a long time to come. Logan Mailloux, Lane Hutson and David Reinbacher could also be on the team’s roster by the 24-25 season deadline…

That said, all these youngsters need to be able to rely on someone who can lead by example. And Mike Matheson fits that bill.

Mike Matheson has the potential to become the new Jeff Petry in Montreal. God knows, Petry did the organization proud during his time in Montreal, and if Matheson can fill that role for many years to come, the CH will have a good No. 1 defenseman.

Perhaps the progression of the young players could really force Kent Hughes to store for the Quebec defenseman. It’s hard to say just yet, because we’re not there yet, and because the 24-25 trade deadline is still a long way off.

But hey. It looks like the idea of Mike Matheson leaving via trade doesn’t appeal to me, at least not right now.

Breaking news

– Congratulations!

– Makes sense.

– Roman Josi is good. He’s very good, in fact!

– This will be one to watch.

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