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Sean Monahan seems to want to stay in Montreal, but at what price?

Looking at the Canadiens’ current forwards, we can’t exactly say that the club’s management will have what it takes to be able to break everything on the transaction market in the run-up to March 8.

Suzuki, Caufield, Slafkovsky, Heineman and Ylönen, if you want to push the envelope, aren’t worth trading. Gallagher, Anderson (according to Eric Engels), Dvorak and Armia will not be traded. Evans and Pezzetta are certainly not untouchable, but their best value is, in my eyes, in Montreal.

Stephens must be worth peanuts and the injured (Dach, Pearson, Newhook and Harvey-Pinard) shouldn’t be traded. Pearson might be… but if you were a good club, would you go get him?

(Credit: Cap Friendly)

That leaves Sean Monahan. He’s the only forward (I say forward, because David Savard is a big blue-line candidate) who can really bring something back and is likely to leave.

We’ll see how things develop between now and March 8.

More and more, some people are talking about trading him, while others are talking about keeping him and signing him to a contract extension. Barring a crazy offer from another team, I’m among those who want to keep Monahan.

And since the player seems to like it here in town, the idea makes sense.

I’m the first to wonder, though, what happens if Monahan wants to stay, but he and the GM can’t agree on the basics of a new contract before the deadline.

In other words, should we keep him at all costs? And I mean that in the sense of “at all costs”, not in the sense of the price to be paid.

You’ll tell me that last year, he chose to return to Montreal before testing the market. Even if that’s true, and even if I’m the first to admit that it’s undoubtedly because he loves playing for the Montreal Canadiens, I can still see that it’s because he didn’t have a market.

When you sign at a (big) discount ten days before the end of your contract, you know that other teams are afraid of your health.

In 2024, he’ll have the chance to sign a bigger contract. If the Habs keep him past March 8 without signing him, he could well leave as a free agent if Kent Hughes doesn’t give him what he needs.

That wouldn’t be good asset management, let’s face it.

And that’s why I want to see the GM start negotiating with Monahan right away. That way, the club will know where it stands in two months and can decide what to do.

Because if the Habs are going to lose him this summer, they might as well lose him for something in the spring.

In gusto

– Absolutely.

– Good one.

– Really?

– It would have changed the NHL.

– The Lions are on the move.

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