Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin doesn’t have a lot of players to re-sign this offseason. However, he still has to sign restricted free agent Max Domi, one of the best players for the Habs. Domi said that, although there haven’t been talks yet on a new contract with the Montreal Canadiens, he wants to stay with the team. The question remains: What kind of contract will Max Domi sign with the Montreal Canadiens? We’ll take a look at a comparable around the league, the deal itself, and the effect the pandemic might have on his next contract.
What Deal Is Max Domi Going to Sign With the Habs?
Best Comparable Around the League
Brayden Schenn is a great comparable for when Domi starts negotiating his next contract. On June 23rd, 2017, the Philadelphia Flyers traded Schenn to the St-Louis Blues in what was considered a major trade. The Saskatoon born centerman signed an eight-year deal with a cap hit of $6.5M with the Blues, on October 4th, 2019, a few months after winning a Stanley Cup. In his first season with the reigning Stanley Cup champions, Schenn accumulated 70 points of which 28 were goals in a full 82 games, finishing first in points on a team that missed the playoffs by a single point to the Colorado Avalanche. It’s safe to say that he has exceeded the expectations that the Blues organization had for him when they acquired him.
During his second season with his new team, Schenn didn’t produce at the same pace as he did the season before. He slowed down a little bit, finishing with 17 goals and 54 points in 72 games. Schenn finished third in scoring behind Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko. Despite a slow start to the season, the Blues managed to make the playoffs and went on to win their first Stanley Cup. Schenn didn’t show up on the score sheet as much as we expected, but he still managed to put up 12 points in 26 games. Although he didn’t score as much as we expected, he showed up every game and he brought a lot of energy. It showed that Schenn plays a high-intensity type of game, especially when he tried to land a massive hit on Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final.
How Does Domi Compare to Schenn?
Max Domi is in a similar situation that Schenn was in when he signed his contract extension. Domi has now played 2 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. In 2 seasons with the Habs, Domi has accumulated 116 points in 153 games whereas Schenn had accumulated 124 points in one more game played. Just like Schenn, Domi led his team in scoring during his first season finishing with 72 points in 82 games. Domi also slowed down in his second year with his new team finishing with 44 points in 71 games this season. Domi is also an energetic center that, one can only assume, would do amazing in the playoffs. The situations are really similar and make for a great comparison when it comes to what Domi might sign for this offseason.
So What Would the Deal Look Like?
So, what does it look like? In terms of the amount, Max Domi could get a cap hit of $6M. It makes sense if using everything that has been said. In a similar situation, Brayden Schenn was able to get a cap hit of $6.5M. There are no reasons to think Domi couldn’t get a $6M deal. The main reason why Domi wouldn’t get the $6.5M Schenn got is that, Domi has never made the playoffs and, most importantly, has never won a Stanley Cup, something Schenn has managed to do. Also, Domi has proven to be a little more inconsistent than Schenn which could be an argument for Bergevin while negotiating.
While Schenn was able to get an eight-year deal, Domi probably won’t. It’s more likely that Domi would get a six-year deal if we take a look at Bergevin’s previous signings. The only times Bergevin has given a deal that was longer than six years was for the controversial signing of Carey Price to an eight-year $84M deal and the signing of P.K. Subban to an eight-year $72M deal back in 2014. Domi is not on the same level as Subban and Price were when signing those contracts and it is, therefore, hard to see Domi sign for anything longer than six years. Also, both of those deals were at least worth $9M per year which makes it highly unlikely that Bergevin would give a seven or eight-year deal to Domi. For Domi, six years makes the most sense as he will want to sign his first long-term deal.
Worth It or Not?
Signing Domi to a six-year deal for $36M would be great for the Habs. Domi would be signed to a good deal for a second-line forward and Montreal would get a great deal considering Domi will be in his prime. Fans should be happy with this deal as it could become a steal if Domi proves that he is the player we saw in his first year in Montreal. If he ends up being more like the player we saw in his second season, it wouldn’t be that bad of a deal as he could still be a good second-line forward for the Habs and be useful in certain areas.
The pandemic has changed a lot of things and will keep on changing things in the NHL. A major change would be that instead of next season’s salary cap being between $84M and $88.2M, it would stay the same at $81.5M. It changes a lot for general managers that thought the salary cap would go up quite a bit next season. It also changes the amount players are going to sign for as well as the number of years they will sign for this offseason due to the uncertainty surrounding the financial situation of the NHL. That means that Domi might sign a totally different contract than discussed in this article because we still don’t know what will happen with the salary cap next season.
Domi Could Help His Case
Another aspect that could affect Domi’s next contract that might affect the predictions made in this article, is his performance during the play-in against the Pittsburgh Penguins and his performance during the playoffs in the eventuality of the Habs beating the Penguins. We know that Domi might not participate in the play-in for the Habs. However, if he does, it could affect his contract in a good way or in a bad way. If Domi is dominant like we know he can be during the play-in and is a big reason why the Habs would make the playoffs, we could see his salary being higher than we expect it to be right now. It’s a double-edged sword because if he plays poorly, we could see his salary being lower than we expect it to be at the moment.