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Montreal Canadiens

Jonathan Drouin Potentially On the Outs in Montreal, Trade Likely

Jonathan Drouin’s day in Montreal might be numbered as he was a healthy scratch and talk is the Canadiens are open to trading him.

Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette writes that Jonathan Drouin being a healthy scratch in the opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs is another sign in a potentially long list of signs that Drouin’s run with the Montreal Canadiens is coming to a close. Cowan believes Drouin has next-to-no future with the team and that the 27-year-old forward is likely to be traded at some point this season.

Drouin is slated to become an unrestricted free agent and carries a $5.5 million cap hit. That won’t be the easiest of contracts to take on especially considering his injury history and personal off-ice health concerns that have interrupted his chance to really get into a rhythm as an NHLer over the past few seasons. It’s not clear which teams would like to take that on, but the Habs will certainly have to make any potential deal enticing and that means likely retaining salary or offering up a sweetener.

Jonathan Drouin Montreal Canadiens

Cowan writes that GM Kent Hughes will likely look for trade partners and if Juraj Slofkovsky does pan out as the Canadiens are hoping, it will be tough for Drouin to crack the lineup. Head coach Martin St. Louis said, “I want to see him play with more pace, play more free.” That doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, even though it’s far from saying that Drouin won’t get another look.

What Might Drouin Be Worth?

Considering his price tag and injury history, if the Habs were to trade Drouin now, at best the organization would get at a 2nd round pick. That’s wishful thinking and a 3rd and 4th is probably more realistic, assuming the Canadiens can convince a team like Buffalo, Seattle, Anaheim or Chicago to take on his cap hit.

If the Canadiens were open to keeping 50% of his salary, it would open up the potential options in a deal. The Canadiens could be a busier team ahead of this year’s trade deadline based on how their season unfolds in the first 30 games. They have a number of pending UFAs, including Evgenii Dadonov, Drouin, Sean Monahan, and Paul Byron.

Next: Canucks Willing to Wait Out Bo Horvat On a Contract Extension

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