TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on TSN Insider Trading that he believes Montreal Canadiens forward Sean Monahan could be one of the first players moved before the NHL trade deadline. The Canadiens and Monahan struck an agreement on a one-year contract last summer with the understanding that the team would move Monahan to a contending team during the season when the time was right.
For his part, Monahan has been having a decent year and is healthy for the first time in a while. The Brampton, Ontario native has dressed in 41 games and has registered 11 goals and 13 assists while averaging over 18 minutes of ice time a game. The seven-time 20-goal scorer hasn’t topped the 20-goal mark since the 2019-20 season but is on pace for a 22-goal campaign. His contract will also be one of the easier deals to move as he is counting just $2MM against the Canadiens salary cap this season.
In other afternoon notes:
- Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 in Buffalo is reporting that Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson is undergoing imaging today for an undisclosed injury. Thompson was on a mission in last night’s game against the Ottawa Senators as he scored two goals before his exit from the game. He did take a high stick in the second period that forced him to briefly leave the bench, but he did return after that before leaving a second time. Thompson missed a few weeks with a hand injury earlier in the season and was just rounding into form in recent weeks. In 32 games this season, the Phoenix, Arizona native has 14 goals and 13 assists. Sabres head coach Don Granato did tell reporters that Thompson could play tomorrow, meaning that whatever is bothering the 26-year-old may not be too serious, but time will tell.
- Aaron Portzline of The Athletic is reporting that Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins commented to the media today that he has not asked the team for a trade, however, he would like the team to find a new scenario for him and the team has agreed with that. What that means is unclear, but Merzlikins did tell reporters that he is not a backup goaltender, something that he is in line to be tomorrow night when the Blue Jackets take on the Seattle Kraken. If Columbus does go the trade route with Merzlikins, it will not be the easiest move to make as the 29-year-old is in the second year of a five-year $27MM contract and has a ten-team no-trade list. Couple his contract, with his uneven play over the past two and a half years and it will be a difficult transaction for the Blue Jackets to make.