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TSN Insider Says “All Eyes on Montreal” As Trade Deadline Nears

TSN Insider Frank Seravalli suggets that Montreal might be the team to watch heading into this year’s NHL trade deadline.

Frank Seravalli has updated his most-likely to be traded board and there’s a consistent name that keeps popping up. While he’s suggested Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers is the player most likely to move, Seravalli suggests the Montreal Canadiens may be busiest of teams.

“It’s difficult to envision the Habs – who entered their bye week 13th in the East in points percentage (.510) – entertaining the idea of bulking up to jockey for a run at a playoff spot,” Seravalli explains. In particular, he believes two names could be moved and garner some interest around the NHL.

First, Ilya Kovalchuk comes in at No. 3 on his board because he’s lighting it up in Montreal. On an inexpensive one-year deal with the Canadiens, few expected the renaissance Kovalchuk is having as part of the Canadiens. He’s getting playing time and capitalizing on it.

“Kovalchuk should generate interest as an asset GM Marc Bergevin can flip for a draft pick,” Seravalli writes.

Coming at No. 20 on the list is defensive cog Jeff Petry. This move may be more difficult for the Habs to justify because, as Seravalli writes, the Montreal Canadiens would be creating a huge hole on their blue line if they moved him.  

“Teams will be phoning Bergevin to inquire about the defenceman. And given what the Toronto Maple Leafs paid for Jake Muzzin (a first-round pick plus prospects Sean Durzi and Carl Grundstrom) last January, the Habs might have to think long and hard if they can get a similar return. 

Seravalli goes on to say that as right-shooting defenceman, Petry would be a coveted player if made available as Sami Vatanen is the only other right-shooting blue liner on the board. As such, the cost will be high should a team show interest.

Will Montreal sacrifice not having a 23-minute per night defenseman on their roster next season if it means possibly getting a big return this season? Seravalli suggests the clock is ticking for the Canadiens to make that decision.

Related: [Rumor] Flames and Maple Leafs Linked In Trade Talks For Travis Hamonic

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