Montreal Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson skates with the puck
The Canadiens are rebuilding. Should they trade veteran defenseman Mike Matheson? We analyze the rumors and potential returns.

The Montreal Canadiens are in full rebuild mode, and with any rebuild comes trade rumors. The latest rumblings to hit the rumor mill are about veteran defenseman Mike Matheson.

Matheson, 30, is having a career year offensively. He recently became just the sixth defenseman in Canadiens’ history to record 50 assists in a single season. While his point production is impressive, the Habs have a logjam of young defensive talent waiting in the wings, and Matheson’s $4.875 million cap hit could be valuable elsewhere.

Could Mike Matheson be traded by the Montreal Canadiens?

Montreal Gazette writer Stu Cowan doesn’t see Kent Hughes moving Matheson. The Habs GM values Matheson’s leadership and veteran savvy on a team full of youth. However, with youngsters like Lane Hutson, David Reinbacher, and Logan Mailloux pushing for regular NHL minutes, Montreal’s blueline could get crowded quickly.

Should the Canadiens trade Matheson to make room for their prospects? Or will the dependable veteran be a valuable part of the team’s growth in the next few seasons? The answer isn’t clear, but trade talks are sure to heat up this offseason.

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