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Arber Xhekaj: Flames among interested teams
Credit: Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images

Arber Xhekaj is a popular name on the trade market. And that’s despite the fact that the defenseman has had a less than stellar season and is a regular on the trade block.

He’s popular because people know what he can bring to the rink. He’s got a special toolbox, and everyone realizes that pretty quickly.

That makes him a crowd favorite, but also a valued teammate.

Because of this, Habs management isn’t ready to let him go. Even if teams continue to call for the Sheriff (according to David Pagnotta), the goal is not to let him go elsewhere. Not for a low price, anyway.

Without being untouchable, a club that wants Xhekaj had better get up early. There’s no point in trading him for an ordinary pick just for the fun of it.

On this subject, we often hear that teams are calling, but we still have to wonder who’s calling.

And now, for the first time this off-season, we’ve heard a team name being called. David Pagnotta, in his paper of the day (the one where he talks about the Canadiens’ plan should Cayden Lindstrom not be an option), brought up the Calgary Flames.

We agree that the Calgary Flames could benefit from having a guy like WiFi in their lineup. After all, he’s young and fits into the club’s window, which won’t win the Stanley Cup in the short term.

And Xhekaj in the West? That would be something. #Robustness

I don’t know what Calgary could offer the Canadian to convince him to accept. Actually, no, I do know this: the first pick (ninth overall) in the upcoming auction has to be a starting point. It probably won’t happen.

If Alexander Romanov went for 13th overall… Xhekaj is surely worth a top-10 pick in the eyes of the GM. No?


Remember that Xhekaj has no contract for next season. He will become a restricted free agent on July 1. He’ll be one of the Canadiens’ few restricted free agents at the youth level in 2024.

What contract will he ask for?

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