Marc Bergevin does not discuss contractual negotiations in the public arena. True to himself, the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens was no exception to the rule, Thursday, in a video conference where he sometimes seemed emotional.
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And when the journalists asked him if Phillip Danault will be the next member of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge to affix his signature to the bottom of a new pact, the DG procrastinated.
“It is certain that Phillip is a good player for us, he admitted at first. We will see what will happen next season. ”
“We also have depth. We drafted a Ryan Poehling, who is a center player, a Jake Evans […]. At the end of the day, on this side, I think we will be in a good position. We are proud, we are happy, and we will see what the future will bring us. ”
“But we have decisions to make at all levels.”
Danault wants to negotiate
Very busy and productive since the beginning of the fall, Bergevin also replied that his next goal is to “take a vacation”. We can understand this, but these will not be easy: Danault’s case remains a source of concern, because the player himself wants to settle his contractual situation before the start of the next season.
That’s what his agent told TVASports.ca in an email exchange on Thursday.
“It would be Phillip’s preference to negotiate a contract at this point with the Canadiens. We are making efforts in this regard, ”said Don Meehan.
On the airwaves of TVA Sports, Thursday, the host Jean-Charles Lajoie argued that there are no negotiations between Bergevin and the Danault camp at the present time: “it is not in the plans of to have it in the short term, even in the medium term, ”he told JiC.
It should indeed be understood that the player’s representative and the Montreal organization have, as of today, interrupted the talks for reasons that leave room for all possible scenarios.
“We had discussions with Marc Bergevin and John Sedgwick about Phillip’s contractual situation,” said Meehan, who spoke of uncertainty over a deadline for reaching a deal.
“The deadline is uncertain. We will continue to work on it. ”
Sedgwick, vice president of hockey operations and legal affairs, is Bergevin’s right-hand man when it comes to contracts. The Torontonian is also a specialist when it comes to payroll.
How much is Phillip Danault worth? There are two answers to this question: that of the direction and that of the center player, who said he wanted to play a more offensive role than the one he gave in the bubble.
His three-year, $ 9.25 million contract will expire in 2021, as will the deals of Tomas Tatar, Joel Armia, Artturi Lehkonen, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and defenseman Victor Mete, the latter three of whom can become free agents with compensation at the end of the campaign.
It’s a safe bet that Bergevin will be thinking about making some heartbreaking decisions by next fall.
With the recent acquisitions of Joel Edmundson, Josh Anderson and Tyler Toffoli, the Habs only have a cushion of $ 383,691 below the salary cap of $ 81.5 million for the upcoming season.
Author of 47 points in 71 games, Danault would do well to listen to the testimony of Brendan Gallagher, who himself has just passed through an agonizing period.
“I just went through it and I know how difficult it is,” he admitted via Zoom. The work my agents did, with (Bergevin and Sedgwick) to get things done, it takes time and it’s hard work. ”
“I’m aware Phil is going through the same thing. And Berg has had a very busy summer … “