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“I’d be surprised if David Savard wasn’t traded before the deadline”.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
The Montreal Canadiens will have a few things on their table in the run-up to the trade deadline on March 8.

Obviously, you won’t be surprised to learn that Sean Monahan is the most important file on Kent Hughes’ desk. This is even truer following the trade of Elias Lindholm to Calgary.

For those who want to know more about Monahan, there was a lot of coverage this morning.

But that’s not the only issue in Montreal. I sometimes get the feeling that there’s been so much talk about Monahan recently that we’ve forgotten that there’s a three-way battle in front of the net.

That threesome is well managed. That said, there are obvious impacts on the rest of the club.

For example? With Brendan Gallagher’s suspension, the 23-man roster drops to 22 for the duration of the suspension. And when you have three goalies out of 22 guys, that leaves you with only one extra skater.

So trading Jake Allen – because it’s likely to be him – becomes important.

But if not? Will Tanner Pearson, the Canadiens’ other forward at the end of his contract, have some market value and be tradeable at the deadline? Perhaps, yes.

I have a feeling that it’s going to come down to defense, in addition to Monahan, Pearson and Allen. I don’t think any forward with at least one more year on his contract is likely to leave between now and next month.

Will the Habs trade a promising young defenseman? I have a feeling it’ll happen more this summer. The deadline isn’t the best time for that.

Could Johnathan Kovacevic leave? Maybe, yes.

But the name to remember on the blue line is David Savard. After all, at $3.5 million a year for another 17 months, he doesn’t earn an inordinate salary, and his style of play is well suited to the playoffs.

Stu Cowan, in a recent article, talked about this very issue.

I don’t know how much leadership the Habs will want to cut by trading Monahan AND Savard over the next five weeks. It’s an open question.

That said, as Cowan points out…

I’d be surprised if David Savard isn’t traded before the deadline.

Especially if the Habs can get a first-round pick in return and/or another young defensive prospect. – Stu Cowan

Can the Habs really get a first-round pick for Savard? I have a feeling that to do so, they’ll have to withhold 50% of his salary. At that point, it’s a lesser evil.

But the question is: at what price does Kent Hughes say yes? Does he say no? How much will clubs like the Tampa Bay Lightning bid for his services?

Let’s not forget that a number of young defensemen will be trying to make their mark in Montreal between now and the end of Savard’s contract. David Reinbacher, Logan Mailloux, Lane Hutson, Adam Engstrom, William Trudeau, Justin Barron…

In short, maybe getting Savard out of the organization will become a necessary evil. We’ll see what Kent Hughes thinks in the next month.


The number of defensemen is all well and good, but you also have to think about the role the youngsters will play. Trading Savard creates a permanent hole in the first defense duo.

Can Kaiden Guhle, on the wrong side of him, play that role in the medium term? The question arises.

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