Although Montreal is mostly working out the final details of its roster for the upcoming season, there is still one major issue that the team management must deal with. This is a protracted negotiation with the young center Kirby Dach, who still does not have a signed contract a month before the start of the new season.
Twenty-one-year-old Kirby Dach was traded to Montreal over the summer from Chicago. It decided that the young forward didn’t fit the bill of a rebuild and decided to send him for two picks in the 2022 draft to Montreal, which acquired the rights to a potential future star of the league.
However, the trio of the 2019 draft has not yet been able to fully sell their aforementioned potential. After a decent rookie season, in which he did not disappoint at all considering his age, he was hampered by injury and played only 18 games in the 2020/21 season. The past year, which Chicago suffered as one of the worst teams in the competition, didn’t turn out quite as well as Dach expected. In 70 matches, he recorded a balance of 9+17 and was far from satisfied.
So in the summer came the move to Montreal, another unit that is trying to rejuvenate its core. “It’s a business. I got a great opportunity to play in Montreal. I’m more than excited to get going and start the next chapter of my career,” said Dach after the transfer.
However, the ice has not moved since then and a new contract for the protected free agent has not been negotiated. There are several reasons. Most importantly, the Canadiens are over $6 million over the salary cap.
Basically, it’s just a detail at this point. Carey Price is highly likely to miss the entire season with a knee injury and end up on the long-term injured list. This will immediately free up $10.5 million in the organization’s budget. And it is with this amount that they operate in Montreal.
Once Price goes on the long-term injured list, Montreal would free up roughly $4.4 million under the salary cap. Although the injury to the experienced goaltender is a huge loss for the Canadiens, it also solves the problem with Dach and his contract.
It is speculated that the young Canadian should have a four-year contract offer on the table with an average annual salary of around 3.5 million dollars. Eric Engels from Sportsnet, who specializes in the Canadiens, also came up with this.
And it makes sense. Once Price ends up on long-term disability, the amount wouldn’t be an issue for Montreal. The length of the contract also makes sense. If Dach were to sign a four-year deal, then his contract would expire while he would still be a protected free agent.
The only question is whether these conditions will also suit Dach. His signature is essential for them to finally get rid of this question mark in Montreal.
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