The annual trade deadline is among the biggest days on the NHL regular-season calendar. With one month to go until this year's deadline of Friday, March 3, this is a good opportunity to look at recent speculation regarding some of the biggest names being bandied about in the rumor mill.
This is usually the time when playoff contenders are shopping for depth that they hope will propel them on a Stanley Cup run. Meanwhile, non-contending clubs begin peddling players they can't afford to re-sign before their free-agent eligibility on July 1.
The first significant trade of 2023 took place on Jan. 30 when the Vancouver Canucks shipped center Bo Horvat to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for winger Anthony Beauvillier, prospect Aatu Räty and a 2023 first-round pick. Horvat, 27, was the top name on the January edition of our NHL trade block big board.
Several other notable players, such as St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier, have become the subjects of recent trade conjecture. We'll take this opportunity to determine if those rumors can pass our BS meter.
Colorado Avalanche Could Target Sean Monahan
The Colorado Avalanche have lacked a reliable second-line center since Nazem Kadri departed for Calgary last summer as a free agent. They've been linked to big-name centers such as the St. Louis Blues' Ryan O'Reilly and the Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews. However, their limited cap space could force them to consider more affordable alternatives.
One option could be Sean Monahan.
On Jan. 26, TSN's Pierre LeBrun said the Avalanche are a team to monitor regarding the Montreal Canadiens center. He noted they don't have a lot of future assets to use as trade bait. "That's why I think a guy like Monahan makes sense and that's why it's a name I know the Avs have talked about," he wrote.
Monahan, 28, had 17 points in 25 games this season with the Canadiens until he suffered a foot injury on Dec. 3 that has sidelined him since. He's expected to resume playing following the Feb. 2-5 All-Star break. Monahan carries a $6.4 million cap hit, but the Canadiens could retain part of it for the right offer.
BS Meter: not BS
Monahan has a lower cap hit than O'Reilly and Toews and would cost less to obtain than those two. Perhaps the Habs will accept a second-round pick and a prospect such as Sean Behrens or Jean-Luc Foudy.