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At least two teams focused on Habs' Monahan as trade talks heat up

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It appears the market for Montreal Canadiens centre Sean Monahan is heating up. 

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that the Wednesday's trade that sent centre Elias Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks has sparked trade discussions in Montreal with Monahan. 

Dreger notes that at least two NHL teams remain focused on the veteran and continue to do due diligence.

Two summers ago, the Canadiens received a conditional first-round pick from the Calgary Flames for taking Sean Monahan - and his then-$6.375 million cap hit - in a trade.

The 29-year-old has 13 goals and 35 points in 49 games this season, after being limited to 25 games due to injury last year. He was listed at No. 3 on the latest TSN Trade Bait board.

Monahan, a pending unrestricted free agent, re-signed with the Canadiens last summer on a one-year, $1.985 million contract, with Dreger reporting earlier this month that the two sides agreed at the time that he could be moved to a contender near the deadline. 

"No different from any other year, there are teams looking for centremen and depth at that position – or a top-two or top-three centreman," Dreger said on Insider Trading on Jan. 11. "We're looking at Colorado. We're looking at Boston, the Edmonton Oilers, maybe even the Washington Capitals if they stay in the mix leading up to the trade deadline. Twenty-nine-year-old Sean Monahan of the Montreal Canadiens is healthy, and he is having a decent year.

"You gotta go back to the off-season and when the Canadiens signed the veteran forward. They had an agreement that said we will trade you when the time is right to a contending team or a team of your choice. Nothing has changed there. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Monahan was among the first forwards to get dealt before the deadline."

In 730 career NHL games played with Montreal and Calgary, Monahan has 231 goals and 514 points.

The Canadiens currently sit 10 points back of the Detroit Red Wings for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal is on track to miss the playoffs for the third straight year after reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2021.