The top two forward targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs were discussed earlier in the week and the two best choices for the club would be to go after Boone Jenner from Columbus or Adam Henrique from Anaheim.
If the team can not find a way to bring in either of those centers, the Toronto Maple Leafs may need to find away to make another trade deadline deal with their divisional rivals, the Montreal Canadiens.
At the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline, the two teams got together for a deal when the Maple Leafs acquired Tomas Plekanec from the Canadiens in exchange for prospects Kerby Rychel, Rinat Valiev and a second round pick.
The two sides could find common ground again and make another deal heading into the 2024 playoffs if Toronto can try to acquire Montreal center Sean Monahan.
Who the Maple Leafs Could target from the Montreal Canadiens
The Toronto native is the former sixth overall selection of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft byt the Calgary Flames but he wasn't a Brad Treliving selection, Monahan was taken the draft before Treliving came to Alberta.
Monahan was praised for his hockey intelligence and two-way hockey, even garnering votes for the Frank J. Selke award in his sophomore year in 2014-15. His strong play earned a seven year contract in Calgary, however, injuries started to creep up in early 2021 that caused him to miss 17 games and continued to nag at his career.
Treliving felt Monahan's decline due to injuries was a cause for concern and traded him to the Montreal Canadiens while enticing them with a first round pick to take the centerman.
Monahan has a strong start to his 2022-23 season recording 17 points in 25 games, however, a groin injury would knock him out for the season.
Sean Monahan Has Got His Game Back
The former top center in Calgary was able to get healthy over this past summer and has been a top three player in Montreal this season. Monahan is averaging more than 18-minutes a night, including more than a minute of penalty kill time, and, as usual, is having a limited amount of turnovers.
Since December 4, Monahan has registered 22 points in 25 games while averaging 18:41 per night which has helped increase his stock. (stats nhl.com).
Like both Jenner and Henrique, Monahan would fit right into the third line center role and he could possibly give coach Sheldon Keefe the option to move Tavares to the wing on the second line.
The one reason I can see this trade not happening is that Treliving had to pay a first round pick to get rid of Monahan in Calgary, he would now be paying assets to get him. While it is two different teams, it could be an embarassment for Maple Leafs general manager.