Sean Monahan hoped to get his NHL career back on track following his trade from the Calgary Flames to the Montreal Canadiens last August. He spent nine seasons in Calgary, but the final two were hampered by hip surgeries. The Flames cleared his $6.4 million average annual value from their books in order to sign Nazem Kadri.

Monahan wasted little time establishing himself on the rebuilding Canadiens. A versatile player who can skate at all three forward positions, the 28-year-old recorded 17 points in 25 games on their second line until he was sidelined Dec. 5 by a lower-body injury. He’s fourth in points on the low-scoring Habs even though he’s missed a month.

Despite his injury, Monahan could garner interest from playoff contenders leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. A quick return to form once he rejoins the Canadiens lineup later this month could boost his value in the trade market. It could also improve his worth in unrestricted free agency this summer.

The Canadiens also got a conditional first-round pick from the Flames as part of the deal for Monahan. On Dec. 27, Sportsnet’s Eric Engels speculated Montreal could get a 2024 first-rounder or a lower pick and a quality prospect in return.

Here’s our take on five potential landing spots for Monahan and what type of return he could fetch. You can express your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.


Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes were the top team in their division over the last two seasons. With 56 points in 39 games this campaign, they’ve wrested away first place in the Metropolitan Division from the slumping New Jersey Devils and are once again among the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

While the Hurricanes possess solid goaltending and a deep defensive corps, their 3.10 goals-per-game average ranks 20th overall despite the presence of Martin Necas, Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho. They’ve also struggled to adequately replace center Vincent Trocheck, who signed with the New York Rangers last summer.

Monahan could address that need. His offensive stats are better than Paul Stastny’s 12 points and Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s 13 points, and he’s just two behind Jordan Staal’s 19 points. His faceoff win percentage (55.1) and his ability to play any forward position would make him a good addition to the Hurricanes’ forward lines.

Given Carolina’s limited trade-deadline cap space, Montreal would have to retain half of Monahan’s prorated cap hit. The Canadiens would also have to take back a salary like that of permanently sidelined defenseman Jake Gardiner. The Habs’ asking price could be the Hurricanes’ first-rounder and perhaps a prospect such as Alexander Nikishin or Scott Morrow.