The Canadiens’ longest-serving player won’t be in the lineup when the team takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

The club confirmed on Twitter that centre Tomas Plekanec will be a healthy scratch, lending weight to rumours that the 35-year-old will be traded by the 3:00 p.m. Monday trade deadline.


Prior to Thursday’s game against the Rangers, New York scratched forwards Rick Nash and Michael Grabner. Hours after the game, Grabner was traded to the New Jersey Devils.


Plekanec was selected in the third round, seventy-first overall in the 2001 NHL entry draft. He has spent his entire career in the Canadiens’ organization.

This year, he has posted six goals and 18 assists and is among the team leaders in plus-minus with -3. He has 605 career points, including 232 goals in 981 games. He added 16 goals and 33 assists in 87 playoff games.

The centre is in the second year of a two-year contract that pays him an average of $6 million per year.

He set to become a free agent on July 1.