NHL Rumors: 5 Montreal Canadiens Named as Trade Targets

The Montreal Canadiens are expected to move a number of players before the Mar.21 trade deadline and recently insider David Pagnotta of the NHL Network/Fourth Period named several Canadiens who are drawing trade interest from other teams. 

While names like Ben Chiarot, Brett Kulak and Artturi Lehkonen are names that have been out there for a few weeks now, the likes of Jonathan Drouin and Tyler Toffoli may surprise some. Drouin has one year left on his contract paying him $5.5 million and so far in 32 games, the 26-year-old has recorded 20 points. Toffoli on the other hand is locked up for the next two seasons at a very reasonable rate of $4.25 million per season. The 29-year-old has 21 points in 30 games.

Earlier in the week there were reports that surfaced regarding Chiarot and the league wide interest in his game. Some feel the rental defenseman could fetch as much as a first-round pick and prospect in any trade. He does hold trade protection against 10 teams and recently Darren Dreger of TSN named the Toronto Maple Leafs as a potential fit. It's not very likely the Leafs have any interest in adding Chiarot at the price being discussed.

As for the most popular player of the bunch, that goes to Lehkonen who is versatile to play up and down the lineup in any role given to him. He's also a restricted free agent at season's end and has some team control. So far it's not clear if Montreal will move any of these players but by all accounts many of hockey's best insiders feel they will eventually be busy with these Canadiens likely involved.

Photo credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports