There has been a lot of chatter surrounding Montreal Canadiens centre Tomas Plekanec. The forward is approaching 1,000 games in the NHL, which is a milestone many want him to see reach with the organization he played the first 981 with.
However, the Canadiens are clearly a seller at the deadline, and Plekanec is one of the obvious trade candidates. He’s on an expiring contract, and has a pedigree of being a shutdown player in the playoffs which is something most teams heading for the post-season are looking for.
And to add to that, with the trade of Derick Brassard, Plekanec may just be the top centre available leading up to Monday afternoon’s deadline.
Volume of calls started to pick up on Plekanec today as soon as news leaked out of Brassard trade. Habs should have enough there by Monday to make a decision.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 23, 2018
Why the Canadiens should trade him
This is a great opportunity to get an asset. You might even be able to get a first- or a second-round pick if the talks heat up enough. Who knows how the market will evolve?
It’s obvious that the more draft picks the Canadiens can stock up, the better off they will be. Even if it is a low first-round pick from a playoff team, you could end up with a player of the calibre of Eeli Tolvanen or Klim Kostin who fell to the end of last year’s opening round.
A deadline trade doesn’t even need to be the end of his career in Montreal. Should Plekanec and the Canadiens look to extend their relationship, he can simply re-sign in July once he becomes a free agent.
If you’re going to rebuild, or re-tool, or reset, you need to take advantage of what the market gives you. That means forgetting history and picking up some assets.
Why the Canadiens should keep him
History. The team let go of Andrei Markov right before he was about to reach the 1,000 games milestone in the off-season. Plekanec wants to stay here and finish his career with the Canadiens. Next year, the Canadiens will need to fill his spot so they may as well sign him to an extension.
Also, there’s the issue that if you trade him, he may not come back as a free agent and the team’s centre depth that is already bad gets even worse.
Time to say goodbye, or at least, see you later
In my opinion, if the offer is good enough, you make the move to trade him. Yes the timing is bad with Plekanec so close to the milestone, but as Marc Bergevin has said — among his many sayings — he’s not here to be popular.
What would you do with Tomas Plekanec at the Trade Deadline?
This poll is closed
Depends on the return