In this edition of the Montreal Canadiens News & Rumors rundown, we’ll look at the return of a Canadiens Holiday tradition and those prospects who have begun their World Junior Championships (WJC) camps while others have not. Former Montreal goaltender Cristobal Huet earned some recognition, and there are indications that significant trade talks have begun among general manager (GM) Kent Hughes and several of his rival GMs.
Canadiens Limping On
According to Marc-Antoine Godin of The Athletic, Canadiens center, Sean Monahan is still sporting a walking boot. While he was able to play while hurt, including an impressive performance in his first game back in Calgary against his former team, he hasn’t played since taking a puck on the ankle in the following game against the Vancouver Canucks on Dec. 5.
The Canadiens have not yet announced a timetable for his return. With 17 points in 25 games, Monahan is one of the main centers expected to be available at the 2023 trade deadline. Because of this, Montreal will likely play it safe and give him time to recover properly, which will allow him to showcase his talent for either a trade or to re-sign him.
Canadiens Prospects Provide Slovakia Medal Hopes
Slovak Ice Hockey Federation president Miroslav Satan has confirmed that the Canadiens’ 2022 first-round pick, Filip Mesar, will be joining the National Team in Halifax this December for the World Junior Hockey Championships. Satan did not mention Juraj Slafkovsky, who has been progressing well on the Canadiens’ roster.
Related: Canadiens Shouldn’t Let Slafkosky Attend 2023 WJC
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Many among the fanbase and media have debated the value of Slafkovsky’s participation in the WJC. For Slovakia, it could be the difference between a medal and not. However, in terms of personal development, he has already proven himself on the international stage. While no official decision has been made yet, the fact that Satan didn’t mention the 2022 first-overall draft pick’s name might be a sign that he will remain with the Canadiens instead of playing in Halifax.
Canadiens Hunting Canucks’ Brock Boeser
During the Sekeres and Price Show, NHL insider Rick Dhaliwal mentioned that the Habs have been interested in Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser for quite some time and attempted to trade for his services.
“Someone told me the Canadiens and Canucks talked a few weeks ago. This is me purely speculating, but Sean Monahan, the contract, is exactly the type of contract the Canucks would find attractive in a Brock Boeser trade. One year left, $6.3 million, guys. (Sean) Monahan is having a decent season with the Habs.”– Rick Dhaliwal
If Hughes can’t find a suitor willing to trade a first for Monahan, this might be his best option to add skill to the roster. Yet, with several wingers on the books, like Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Drouin, and Evgenii Dadonov, the Canadiens don’t really need more veteran forwards. However, at 25 years old, Boeser is a better fit with the young core group and has a history of being a reliable goal scorer. His contract, worth $6.65 million until 2025, shouldn’t cause any long-term salary cap issues for the Habs, who will be in long-term injured reserve space due to the Carey Price contract.
Canadiens Return to Tradition
This Christmas season, the Canadiens brought back a tradition that was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic and visited the children’s hospitals around the city.
It’s impossible to understand the impact these visits have on these brave young children and their families, but it is a simple gesture that is welcome by everyone.
Canadiens & Oilers Talking About Jesse Puljujarvi
According to NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, the Edmonton Oilers are looking at options to offload the fourth-overall pick from 2016, Jesse Puljujarvi. Friedman expects it might take time before anything is settled because of his one-year, $3 million cap hit. According to Marco D’Amico of Montreal Hockey Now, the Canadiens were interested in the big Finnish winger in August, doing their full due diligence before trade talks fell through.
However, the Habs might still be interested. He is a big, skilled winger who can play at a high pace and is defensively responsible. With the focus on player development, the team could help build up the 24-year-old’s confidence into becoming a top-six winger. As a rebuilding team, the risk could be worth the reward to provide the right-winger with a fresh start.
Another Canadiens Hall of Fame Addition
Cristobal Huet will be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame next year.
Acquired with Radek Bonk in a three-way trade from the L.A. Kings in 2004, Huet spent three seasons as the Habs’ starting netminder before Price took over. He then went on to win a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. His Hall of Fame induction comes from his time as the starting netminder for the French National team that led to several Olympic berths.
As the Canadiens continue to surprise with a .500 record in 2022-23, there will be more news to keep up with, so keep an eye on THW’s coverage of the Montreal Canadiens for all your hockey needs, including THW’s affiliated podcast Habs Unfiltered for the latest news, notes, and rumors.