The Montreal Canadiens trading Ben Chiarot to the Florida Panthers wasn't much of a surprise considering media rumors frequently linked the 30-year-old defenseman to the Panthers.
What raised eyebrows was the Canadiens getting a three-asset return, including a conditional first-rounder in 2023 or 2024 and promising college prospect Ty Smilanic.
Slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July, Chiarot is a big, top-four defenseman who performed well in a shutdown role during the Canadiens' run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. The Habs sought a first-round pick in return, but some observers anticipated they'd have to reduce their asking price as the trade deadline approached.
The Canadiens' return could affect the value of Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano and Anaheim Ducks blueliner Hampus Lindholm leading up to Monday's trade deadline. Like Chiarot, they're eligible for UFA status in July.
The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun recently reported the Kraken to seek at least a first-rounder and a prospect for Giordano. The Sporting News' Bryan Murphy suggested the Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames as potential destinations for the 38-year-old defenseman. The Panthers are likely out after acquiring Chiarot while the Flames put their focus on acquiring forwards Tyler Toffoli and Calle Jarnkrok.
Lindholm could hit the trade block if he and the Anaheim Ducks fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension. He's been linked to the Leafs, Rangers and St. Louis Blues in the rumor mill.
Will any of those clubs part with a three-asset return for Giordano or Lindholm? We'll find out between now and Monday.