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Mike Matheson not for trade, says Pierre LeBrun
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
Unfortunately for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Mikhail Sergachev, the latter suffered a dreadful shin injury in the last match-up against the New York Rangers.

Too bad for the Russian defenseman, who had just returned from injury.

Now that his season is very likely to be over, Tampa Bay would like to greatly improve its team with the $8.5 million it will save by placing Sergachev on the injured list.

Obviously, the Lightning would like to compensate for the loss of Sergachev with another left-handed defenseman, but there are some interesting choices on the right side of the market.

Chris Tanev of the Calgary Flames comes to mind, but Erik Johnson of the Buffalo Sabres could also be an affordable choice.

But which player could the Bolts target if they’re looking to vastly improve the defense in the absence of the Russian defenseman?

Obviously, Mike Matheson’s name is being bandied about.

Pierre LeBrun was on BPM Sports’ Georges Laraque and Stéphane Gonzalez show on Thursday.

They discussed the matter, but according to LeBrun, Matheson is not for trade to the Montreal Canadiens.

You can listen to the excerpt right here.

He also says that the Habs may very well listen to offers for the Quebec defenseman, but they’re not looking to trade him :

“There’s a difference between picking up the phone and being the team that calls other teams and says: What do you think of our guy?” – Pierre LeBrun

It should also be pointed out that the price for a defenseman of Matheson’s stature must be pretty high, and unfortunately for the Lightning, they only have one first-round pick in the next three years, in 2026.

What’s more, the bank of prospects is pretty thin, apart from Isaac Howard, a name that would be surprising to see leave the Tampa Bay organization, as he’s the only high-quality prospect.

There’s always a way to put together a package with this first-round pick in 2026, Ethan Gauthier and other elements.

But as LeBrun pointed out, it would take a very attractive offer from Tampa Bay to let Matheson go, and I don’t think that’s enough if Howard doesn’t fit in.

Not only might an attractive return be very difficult to obtain from the Bolts, but since Matheson is under contract until the end of the 2026 season, Julien BriseBois needs to make sure he stays under the salary cap when Sergachev returns.

Today, there was an episode of Insider Trading that came out, and shopping for a defenseman was one of the topics.

Pierre LeBrun, Chris Johnston, Gino Reda and Darren Dreger were taking turns talking, when Dreger’s turn came up.

His topic of discussion was the fact that ” reverse hits “, like Lafrenière did on Sergachev, were going to be discussed at a general managers’ meeting.

There’s no doubt that there was no malice in Lafrenière’s reverse check, but with what happened, it needs to be discussed, as it’s very distressing when something like this happens.

Especially when the player comes out crying on the stretcher.

In short, Julien BriseBois will have his work cut out to find a replacement for Sergachev for the push towards the playoffs.

Tampa Bay is currently in first place in the Wild Card standings, just one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings, who occupy the final playoff spot. Detroit also has a game in hand on Jon Cooper’s team.

Should BriseBois go for an impact defenseman like Matheson, or should he keep the few prospects and quality picks he has and add one or two veteran depth players?

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