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Mike Matheson in a Habs jersey
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Trade between the Canadiens and Tampa Bay involving Matheson and Gauthier? Pierre LeBrun reports that Hughes won't do it unless there's an incredible offer

Published February 13, 2024 at 1:14
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Following Sean Monahan's departure, now having moved to Winnipeg, the question now is who will be the next player to leave the Canadiens. The large number of defensemen in the lineup leads many to think that the Canadiens could now part with a defenseman. Names like David Savard and Mike Matheson have even come up in speculations.

But what is the real situation?



In a recent column the excellent Pierre LeBrun mentioned that according to him, the Canadiens had no intention of trading Savard. It would take a significantly attractive offer for the Quebecer to leave the organization this year.




The hockey insider recently reiterated, but this time, regarding Mike Matheson. He stated, on BPM Sports, that the veteran, like Savard, is not up for trade.

According to him, Kent Hughes will do his job by listening to offers for his veteran, but he will not be actively seeking a taker.

"There is a difference between picking up the phone and being the team that calls other teams and tells them: What do you think of our guy?" – Pierre LeBrun

One of the teams that must be very interested in Matheson is the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the loss of Mikhail Sergachev, Julien Brisebois must surely be looking to replace him, now having an additional $8.5M in salary cap space by the end of the season.

Thus, we understand, in light of what LeBrun mentioned, that Tampa will have to pay a high price. A luxury the GM unfortunately does not have as he possesses only one first-round pick for the next three drafts (the one from 2026) and a very slim prospect pool.

The site [DLC] suggests a trade based on the 2026 first-round pick and the young Ethan Gauthier. However, it would be surprising if Julien now parts with the 37th pick from the last draft.

It should also not be forgotten that Matheson will earn an average of $4.875M per year for two more seasons. He will have to do his calculations because Sergachev will return to play, with his $8.5M, before the end of the Quebecer's contract. It's certain that the cap will increase, but will it be enough?

To be continued

Other teams may also be interested in the Canadiens' defensemen by the trade deadline. Therefore, we could witness a last-minute trade, whether with Matheson or Savard, as the price will be to Kent Hughes' liking. Somewhat like the Artturi Lehkonen trade that occurred in 2022.
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February 13   |   863 answers
Trade between the Canadiens and Tampa Bay involving Matheson and Gauthier? Pierre LeBrun reports that Hughes won't do it unless there's an incredible offer

Would you trade Mike Matheson to the Lightning for Ethan Gauthier and a 2026 1st round pick?

Yes39045.2 %
No47354.8 %
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