Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday Headlines on Hockey Night in Canada that teams are wondering if the Rangers will make a pitch for the Canadiens centre.
“Monahan has enormous respect around the league for how much he’s come back from,” Friedman said. “This was a guy who a couple years ago, people were thinking is he going to be able to continue playing. Not only is he playing, he’s thriving.”
Monahan, who has battled injuries throughout his career, came into Saturday’s play with 13 goals and 21 assists for 34 points in 48 games this season. He had nine points in the five games before Saturday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It’s his highest points total since he put up 48 with the Calgary Flames in 2019-20.
The Canadiens likely will be trying to get a high draft pick, perhaps a first-rounder, for Monahan.
Friedman says the Rangers already were looking for a centre and may now need two after Filip Chytil suffered an injury setback on Friday.
“One of the big questions teams are asking right now is how high in the lineup for a contender do you need Monahan to play?” Friedman said.
Friedman noted there is one issue when it comes to a Canadiens-Rangers trade, however.
“The big challenge is there isn’t a lot of love lost between the two front offices, the Canadiens and the Rangers, so will it be a complicated deal to do between them,” he said.
Canadiens executive vice-president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton is a former Rangers GM.