How Sean Monahan’s Health Could Alter Canadiens Trade Strategy

How Sean Monahan’s Health Could Alter Canadiens Trade Strategy

Sean Monahan’s vague health status has many concerned and could significantly affect the Montreal Canadiens’ strategy ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

The Canadians have announced that Sean Monahan would be out for about two weeks twice in the past six weeks, most recently on January 6.

Well over three weeks since that announcement, Monahan, who began training with the Canadians in mid-January, is still nowhere to be seen and over his two-week return table.

It’s a worrying trend this season because, similar to Brendan Gallagher and Mike Matheson earlier this season, injuries are being reported as minor while lasting many weeks longer than originally anticipated.

In a losing season, you can allow your top players with nagging injuries to rest or opt for surgery like the Canadians did with Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky, but with Monahan, the Canadians are in a bit of a bind.

Monahan puzzles

Sean Monahan is easily the Canadiens’ best rent trade chip in the NHL trade market, and should he suffer a setback in rehab or require surgery himself, it could have a massive impact on the Canadiens’ gameplay in the NHL next four years have weeks.

Top-six centers certainly don’t grow on trees, and his belated return to form is likely to put off already aspiring general managers should he play again next month. That’s not to say he won’t return, but given that he’s already been in action for eight weeks, we’ve hit the serious injury threshold at this point and there’s a chance it could get worse.

That’s not to say the Canadians aren’t trying to be transparent, but they also need to be careful about how much information they release, especially with Monahan playing again before the NHL trade deadline.

If Monahan returns after the All-Star break and is ready to go, he could potentially make an interesting return for the Canadians, although that crossing could see a first-round pick off the table unless general manager Kent Hughes pulls a rabbit out of his hat.

It would take a potent physical test, proof that the injury is behind him and an immediate return to pre-injury form for Sean Monahan to consider a return as high as a pick in the first at this point Round. It’s still possible, but becoming less likely with each passing day.

Strategy change for the Montreal Canadiens

If Monahan were forced to undergo surgery to fix what two months of rigorous rehabilitation couldn’t, it would be a major blow to Canadian trading strategy.

The idea of ​​accepting a first-round pick from the Calgary Flames to face Monahan, only to have it flipped to a first-round pick at the NHL trade deadline would have been a major steal by the Canadians.

However, if he were sidelined for the remainder of the year, the Canadians could become far more flexible about being potential salary cap brokers or taking bad contracts for additional assets from teams fighting for the trophy salary to clarify.

Unlike other small cap-ranked market clubs across the league, the Canadiens are already one of the top spenders in the NHL and could sign some additional players to improve their future prospects.

As it stands right now, the Montreal Canadiens have about $5.3 million in cap space, with Monahan currently on the Long-Term Injury Reserve (LTIR).

Once the likes of Joel Armia, Jonathan Drouin and Brendan Gallagher return from injury, the Canadians will need to send three players to Laval Rocket; at least temporarily.

This process will save Canadians approximately $2.4 million in cap space, bringing their estimated cap space to approximately $7.7 million.

Finally, the Canadiens could further maximize their cap space by putting Cole Caufield and Juraj Slafkovsky on LTIR as both are expected to miss the rest of the season, giving the Canadiens an additional $1.83 million in space. bringing their grand total to 9.5 million to play with.

In addition to the possibility of keeping up to three players’ salaries, 9.5m possible cap spots could be a silver lining for the Canadians should Monahan’s injury be more serious than previously thought.

It might not offer them the straight forward trading scenarios they intended, but it might open the door for them to get active on the trade front anyway; just not in the way they originally imagined.

Either way, a Monahan health update shouldn’t be too far off, and that will give both fans and Canadiens management clarity as to what’s next.

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