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Sean Monahan: with Kaapo Kakko available, he becomes a realistic target
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

For several weeks now, the question has been what the Canadiens will be able to get in return for Sean Monahan’s services. The center, whose contract expires at the end of the season, will likely be traded to a contender by the trade deadline.

And tonight, we finally saw some (indirect) development in the file, as the Flames traded Elias Lindholm to the Canucks for a very high price.

The deal involves Andrei Kuzmenko (who scored 40 goals last year), two blue-line prospects (Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo), a first-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick.

And of course, all this is excellent news for the Habs. In addition to opening up the market for center players, the Habs now have the league’s most coveted player in Monahan, and they have a month to raise the stakes and wait to get his price.

Even if Monahan has a similar season to Lindholm, there are still red flags (injuries) that mean the Habs may not have as big an offer on the table. That said, it gives you an idea of the market.

The question now is what the offers to the Habs for Monahan’s services might look like… and last night, during the Insider Trading segment, Darren Dreger raised an interesting point: the Rangers are reportedly listening to offers for Kaapo Kakko’s services.

The club needs reinforcements after losing the services of Filip Chytil, and Kakko could be a bargaining chip to help them this year.

However, the news takes on a whole new significance in the current context, where the Habs now hold the most coveted center on the transaction market, a market in which Elias Lindholm has just left for an astronomical price.

Our colleague Charles-Alexis Brisebois mentioned Matt Poitras this morning… but now we can possibly add Kaapo Kakko to the list of logical targets for Sean Monahan’s services.

There’s been a lot of talk about the tension between Jeff Gorton and the Rangers in recent days, and Elliotte Friedman mentioned on Monday that the New York outfit might have to pay even more for Gorton’s willingness to help them.

I don’t know if it’s realistic to believe that Monahan could bring back Kakko and a first-round pick… but the Elias Lindholm deal really proved that this is a seller’s market. Now, the Habs can outbid any team that wants to add a center to their lineup (and there are a ton of those out there), and the Rangers might have to pay such a price if they want Monahan.

I can’t wait to see if Kakko will be a target for the Habs, but if he’s available, I’d like to think the Tricolore will at least take the time to discuss the possibility with the Rangers.

And if the prize money is anything like what the Flames got for Lindholm, the Habs will have something to dream about.

In gusto

– The Rocket loses to the Comets.

Good one.

– Even if the accused 2018 CLE players are cleared, the NHL could still ban them.

– We know he wasn’t a fan of the previous management.

– That’s a polite way of putting it.

– Imagine the catastrophe.

– News from Patrick Roy’s Islanders.

– It’s not over yet.

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