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Radio: In Toronto, Max Domi is (really) better than Sean Monahan

Even if the Habs have a good record at the moment (14-13-5), and the famous p-word is starting to be heard around town, the fact remains that the odds remain good that the Habs will be on the sellers’ side at the next trade deadline. After all, the balloon could deflate at any moment, and objectively speaking, the Habs don’t look like a team equipped to stay up late in the playoffs.

The wins are encouraging at the moment… but do you think the Habs really look like a playoff club? It might be different with Kirby Dach and Alex Newhook, but there you go again.

So, Sean Monahan’s case is likely to be the talk of the town between now and March 8. Monahan is healthy right now, and at a cap hit of $1.985M this season, a contending team could go for a quality third center.

A team like the Maple Leafs, for example… or not.

In fact, on TSN Overdrive (a Toronto radio show) yesterday, the three hosts (Brian Hayes, Jeff O’Neill and Jamie McLennan) talked about the third-centre position in Toronto, and whether a guy like Monahan would be an upgrade over Max Domi.

And it seems that Domi is (really) better than Monahan.

The guys still give Monahan some credit in the sense that he’s recovered well from his injuries and is playing good hockey… but they find him really slow and they think the guy skates badly.

Monahan is no gazelle, but is he really that slow? To be honest, I don’t think so. He’s got a pretty average skating stroke, I’d say.

And in fact, in 2023-24, Monahan is having a better campaign than Domi. It’s similar in terms of points (19 in 32 games for Monahan and 18 in 30 games for Domi), but Monahan has nine goals while Domi has only three.

And as Marc Dumont points out, Monahan has more shorthanded goals than Domi has at even strength this season.

Domi isn’t a bad hockey player, and he can help a team like the Maple Leafs in a supporting role. But when you look at what Monahan is doing this season with teammates far less dominant than Domi’s in Toronto, I’m tempted to say that the Leafs would improve by picking up Monahan to play center on the third line.

I can understand those who would see it as a lesser improvement (or a “four 30 cents for a penny”), that said, and it’s true that Toronto may not be the perfect fit for Monahan. On the other hand, I must confess that I find the hosts a little harsh in their assessment.

In brief

– Kaiden Guhle answers fan questions.

– I really hope that’s not the case. No one can make me believe that Tinordi tried to hurt Dach on this.

– New contract for Ben Hutton.

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