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Sports What the Puck: Danault could be a loser in Canadiens numbers game

01:11  01 december  2020
01:11  01 december  2020 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Pandemic hits close to home — and the office — for Canadiens owner Molson

  Pandemic hits close to home — and the office — for Canadiens owner Molson There has been no hockey revenue since March. The coronavirus pandemic also meant a large portion of the 1,500 concerts, festivals and events his company would have staged were cancelled or rescheduled. But at least people are still drinking Geoff Molson’s beer, albeit at home, because bars have been closed again for more than a month. “The beer business is hanging in there. The nice thing about it is it can’t be taken over by technology. It’s a stable business and it’ll always be there,” Molson, the owner and president of Groupe CH, the multi-faceted sports and entertainment company best known for its controlling interest in the Canadiens, told the Montreal Gazette during a le

MONTREAL -- Phillip Danault had two goals and two assists for his first four-point NHL game in a 5-4 win for the Montreal Canadiens against the New York Rangers at Bell "So I think we took that to heart and I think we had a good response in the second and the third, but we were a bit too far behind.

111 - Number of playoff games Claude Julien has coached, moving him into a tie with Jacques Martin for 18th overall (NHL). 4:05 - The Canadiens didn't 58 - The total number of shots the Canadiens directed at Henrik Lundqvist, including 18 in the second period alone, compared to 38 for the Rangers.

a person skiing on the snow: TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: Tristan Jarry #35 of the Pittsburgh Penguins stops a shot by Phillip Danault #24 of the Montreal Canadiens in the first period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. © Provided by The Gazette TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 07: Tristan Jarry #35 of the Pittsburgh Penguins stops a shot by Phillip Danault #24 of the Montreal Canadiens in the first period in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 07, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.

It’s far from clear that Phillip Danault has a future with the Montreal Canadiens and that’s frankly kind of shocking.

I get that it’s in some ways just a numbers game with general manager Marc Bergevin. He is going to be facing a major-league cash crunch leading up to the 2021-22 season, which is precisely when Danault becomes an unrestricted free agent. Fans and media pundits were happy that Bergevin went on a spending spree this summer but, in the process, he committed a huge chunk of change for the years to come.

Canadiens centre Kotkaniemi notches first goals of season in Finland

  Canadiens centre Kotkaniemi notches first goals of season in Finland Canadiens centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored his first two goals of the season in Finland, but his strong performance wasn’t enough as the Pori Assat Aces dropped a 5-3 decision to the Lahti Pelicans in SM-Liiga action Wednesday. Kotkaniemi, who is on loan from the Canadiens to his hometown team, opened the scoring with a power-play goal and added a short-handed goal later in the game. But Assat’s failure to kill penalties was the key to the game as the Pelicans scored four power-play goals. Kotkaniemi has started producing after failing to earn a point in his first four games. He has two goals and three assists in his past four games.

Game Used Pucks . MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens forward Phillip Danault is resting at home after being released from a hospital Sunday. Danault sustained a head injury against the Boston Bruins at Bell Centre on Saturday when he was hit in the head by a shot from Bruins defenseman Zdeno

Winning games doesnt mean shit, if you cant back it up in the POs. Danault is a much more complete player and i think given the right conditions he could do the job on a 2nd line. Danault lacks the talent to be able to distribute the puck as a top two center, he is a good skater and is good

Bergevin signed Brendan Gallagher to a six-year deal that starts in 2021-22, with an average annual cap hit of $6.5 million (all figures in U.S. dollars). He also inked rugged winger Josh Anderson to a seven-year contract that gives the former Blue Jacket $5.5 million per season, starting this season. Then there’s Tyler Toffoli, who nabbed a four-year $4.25 million per year.

Almost everyone, even the biggest grumblers (who could that be?), are super pleased with what Bergevin has done because it looks like Montreal will finally have a competitive team for the coming season. But with all of those deals in place, Canadiens management has committed about $65 million to 14 players for the 2021-22 season and that would leave a paltry $16 million for the other nine players on the roster if the salary cap stays the same at $81.5 million.

What the Puck: Canadiens fans' Cup dreams might be just that — dreams

  What the Puck: Canadiens fans' Cup dreams might be just that — dreams The Canadiens are masters of media spin and a big chunk of the team’s fan base buys into it without a second thought. Take as Exhibit A the current off-season. I am already on record saying, to the shock of many, that I have liked most of Habs general manager Marc Bergevin’s moves in recent months. With the additions of Jake Allen, Joel Edmundson, Josh Anderson, and Tyler Toffoli, the Canadiens are a better team than they were when the season shut down in mid-March.

Canadiens forward Phillip Danault was removed from the ice on a stretcher after he was hit in the head by a shot from Chara at 18:23 of the second period. "And the pace of the game , as you all saw, was a real good pace. So it was important to put some fresh guys out there and keep everybody involved."

Canadiens ’ Danault stretchered off after taking Chara slap shot to the head - Продолжительность: 1:59 SPORTSNET 1 504 929 просмотров. 2016 World Cup of Hockey: Team Russia vs Team North America AMAZING GAME !

That’s $16 million left to sign, if he wants to, the team’s four unrestricted free agents after this season: Danault , Tomas Tatar, Joel Armia and Jordan Weal. I think the squad can limp along without Weal — haha — but the other three are key parts of the Habs machine. Then there’s three players set to become restricted free agents after the current campaign: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen and Victor Mete. Again, Mete and the Habs might well part company, but they are definitely not losing KK and probably not Lehkonen, either.

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So you can see Bergevin’s problem and you can also see why he’s unlikely to sign Danault any time soon. If Anderson is worth $5.5 million a season, it’s fair to say that Danault’s worth at least as much and you know that’s exactly what Danault thinks, too.

Canadiens' power play needs swagger on home ice, Kirk Muller says

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15 - Number of saves Canadiens starter Antti Niemi made during the first period alone on Tuesday night. Only Mike Hoffman managed to put the puck Video: FLA@MTL: Danault buries carom off end boards. 17 - Number of games Max Domi went without scoring before finally snapping that streak on

9 - Number of times Phillip Danault has finished a game with at least a 60% success rate in the faceoff dot this season. 4 - Number of goals captain Shea Weber has in nine games this season, which places him second in scoring among defensemen on the Canadiens .

Will Bergevin really let Danault go at the end of the season? I think that would be nuts. It kind of irritates me when people endlessly compare Danault with Patrice Bergeron because the Boston Bruins’ No. 1 centre is in another league altogether. But Danault is indeed one of the league’s most underrated centres and I’m terrified of the notion of a Canadiens forward group that doesn’t include him.

He was second in scoring on the team behind Tuna Tatar, won 54.5 per cent of his faceoffs and he also dominated the faceoff circle in their two post-season series. During the summer, Danault’s average was 54 per cent, compared with 40.2 per cent for Suzuki and a not-so-good 33.8 per cent for KK. Danault might well have been the key skater in that winning series against the Penguins, as he pretty well shut down Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

On top of everything else, Danault is one of the team’s few francophone Québécois players and if you don’t think that matters, then you haven’t been paying attention to the first 110 years of the Habs’ history. That matters big-time.

Hickey on hockey: Hockey lifer Larry Carrière parts ways with Canadiens

  Hickey on hockey: Hockey lifer Larry Carrière parts ways with Canadiens After 42 years in professional hockey, Larry Carrière is taking a break. Carrière and the Canadiens had what he described as a mutual parting this year and the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic was an opportunity to step back and evaluate what he’s been doing. “I’ve travelled all my life and now, with eight months off and well rested, I can take a step back with my wife Sue and see what we want to do with our lives,” the 68-year-old Carrière said during phone call from his home in St-Sauveur. “I’m not calling it quits, I just want to explore my options.

For all of those reasons, it’s hard to imagine Danault slipping through Bergevin’s hands and heading elsewhere. But where is he going to find the dough to pay him?

Here’s an out-of-the-box suggestion: Why not trade the team’s other francophone star, Jonathan Drouin, to free up the bucks to keep Danault? Drouin makes $5.5 million a year, which is just about exactly what Danault needs. It sounds like an amazing plan, but there’s just one minor hiccup. Drouin has been the definition of inconsistent ever since he arrived in Montreal, so that doesn’t make him exactly the most attractive trade bait.

But Drouin runs hot and cold, so if he starts the season off in booming fashion like he did last year, maybe Bergevin could actually make a reasonable trade midway through the season and have a few bucks left in the cupboard for Danault.

If Danault does walk next summer, that’s a scary scenario for the Habs. I liked what I saw of Suzuki and Kotkaniemi during the post-season, but unless you’re in full rebuild mode, which the Habs aren’t, you don’t want to rely on two kids to centre the top two lines with no backup plan.

bkelly@postmedia.com

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Best trades in Canadiens history: Weber-Subban deal a win for Bergevin .
This week we’re looking at the five best trades in Canadiens history. Today, No. 5: The deal that sent P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators for Shea Weber was a classic hockey trade and should have a been a win-win for both sides. Four years later, it’s shaping up as one of the better deals of the Marc Bergevin era. That’s not say that there wasn’t some concern in Montreal when Canadiens GM Bergevin made the deal on June 29, 2016. There was a significant age gap between the players and Weber had a contract that ran through the 2025-26 season when he will be 40 years old.

usr: 0
This is interesting!