Insider Elliotte Friedman and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Arber Xhekaj
Photo credit: Puck Reporter

Insider Elliotte Friedman Links Arber Xhekaj To Eastern Conference Contender

Published January 23, 2024 at 2:16 PM
Players like Arber Xhekaj don't grow on trees. His arrival to the NHL last season came by surprise and while he suffered a little bit of a setback with a demotion to the AHL, he still has a bright future ahead of him.

Elliotte Friedman Links Arber Xhekaj To The Philadelphia Flyers

According to Elliotte Friedman, there is significant interest in Arber Xhekaj from various teams in the National League. The journalist mentioned on Saturday that several teams have contacted the Montreal Canadiens to inquire about the availability of the defenseman.

In a recent episode of his 32 Thoughts podcast, Friedman revisited the topic and speculated about a potential link between the Philadelphia Flyers and Xhekaj. However, Friedman reassured fans that the Canadiens have no intention of trading the highly-regarded young player.

Friedman talking teams calling Habs about Arber Xhekaj (32TP): "I wouldn't be surprised if Philly was one of those teams, I don't know if it was a (Cutter) Gauthier deal or something else, but it makes a lot of sense. If Xhekaj is not going to be a Canadien, man he's a Flyer"

Friedman repeats, Habs have told teams they are not trading him.

He suggested that Xhekaj's aggressive playing style aligns well with the "bad boy" culture traditionally associated with the Flyers. Arber possesses the mindset of a fighter, someone ready to do whatever it takes to benefit his team. When considering a team known for its toughness, the Philadelphia Flyers often come to mind.

Arber on the Flyers: "I'm too young to have lived through the Broad Street Bullies era, but I would have paid good money to attend a Flyers game in those days."

Friedman acknowledged the widespread interest in Xhekaj, emphasizing that the player, who was never drafted by an NHL club, has become a notable name in the league. During the podcast, he discussed the possibility of a connection between the Flyers and the Canadiens regarding Xhekaj, considering the Flyers active involvement in the trade market and their recent addition of Jamie Drysdale to the roster.

While Montreal boasts depth on the blue line, including players like Mike Matheson, David Savard, Kaiden Guhle, and others, the Canadiens may consider trade offers if they provide significant value. Xhekaj's impressive performance in the AHL, with 11 points in 17 games, adds to his potential appeal in the NHL.

However, as of now, Montreal remains firm in its stance that Xhekaj is not available for trade.
January 23   |   324 answers
Insider Elliotte Friedman Links Arber Xhekaj To Eastern Conference Contender

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