Canadiens’ Plekanec could be available by NHL trade deadline

Ron MacLean, Nick Kypreos, Kelly Hrudey and Elliotte Friedman discuss all the top headlines from Saturday night in the NHL.

Montreal Canadiens centre Tomas Plekanec has had a disappointing first half to the 2016-17 season, and could be available at the trade deadline should his struggles continue.

“(The Canadiens) are going to start to get healthy with (Alex) Galchenyuk coming back,” Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said on Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment Saturday. “But there’s a sense that if (Plekanec) doesn’t get re-engaged that he might be available by the trade deadline.”

After recording 60 and 54 points in the ’14-15 and ’15-16 seasons, respectively, Plekanec has managed just three goals and 16 points in 39 games for the Canadiens this season. The 34-year-old’s shooting percentage (4.4) is currently the lowest of his 12-year career.

Plekanec is currently under contract with Montreal through the ’17-18 season with a cap hit of $6 million.

His name has come up in trade rumours before, but the Czech forward has survived them all to become the Canadiens’ longest-serving player after Andrei Markov.

Plekanec was a third-round pick of the team in 2001, and has reached the 20-goal mark seven times in his career.