Is Marc Bergevin Still Looking to Improve the Montreal Canadiens Lineup?
The Montreal Canadiens season is set to begin on January 13th, 2021. Could we see another acquisition to improve the team’s performance in their division, or is there more at play?
The Montreal Canadiens were one of the busier NHL teams during the offseason. Following their elimination by the Philadelphia Flyers, general manager Marc Bergevin sought to rectify several key needs in the acquisitions of Jake Allen, Joel Edmundson, Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli.
While this offseason has put the organization right up against the salary cap, it appears they may not be done. Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Marc Bergevin is seeking to further strengthen the Montreal Canadiens lineup ahead of their upcoming season. However, a move being made with just over 10 days to go before training camp begins could be a sign of more than just strengthening the lineup.
Freeing up Cap Space is a Necessity
Following the signings of both forwards Tyler Toffoli and Brendan Gallagher, the Montreal Canadiens have found themselves nearly right up against the salary. With a projected cap hit of $81,116,309, the Montreal Canadiens have a mere $383 691 worth of leeway. In consequence, if Marc Bergevin were looking to add another player to the roster, it would have to be a contract that is both cap-compliant and with enough salary going the other way as well.
While it is possible Marc Bergevin is still looking to strengthen the Montreal Canadiens roster prior to the start of next season, it is just as possible that he is merely looking to free up space to make trades in the future upon seeing how his team performs.
Could we see a Resolution to the Philip Danault Contract Situation?
Since the beginning of the Montreal Canadiens offseason, there has been plenty of chatter regarding when Montreal Canadiens centre Philip Danault will sign a contract extension. Several interviews with the player himself have led many to believe that there is not much in terms of progress on that front. Although a year still remains on Danault’s $3,083,333 deal, progress appears to be nil.
Several weeks ago, Philip Danault was interviewed by the Athletic and stated, “Right now there are no negotiations,” and that talks are essentially at “square one.” Furthermore, Danault was far from pleased with the changing of his role when the NHL returned to play in August. For almost the entirety of the last two seasons, Philip Danault has been on the de-facto first line of the Montreal Canadiens. However, with the impressive play of young forwards Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Danault was given a defensive role that saw his offensive capabilities dwindle.