The regular season is soon upon us, but some teams are already planning ahead for the future. There will be some big names that become restricted free agents after the 2022-23 season. One of those names is dynamic young Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield. This edition of NHL rumours takes a look at the impending Cole Caufield extension talks.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Cole Caufield Extension Talks on Backburner
The Athletic and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said that the Canadiens and Caufield are yet to discuss a new deal. Both sides are going to take their time when it comes to a new contract. Caufield will finish up his entry-level deal at the end of the season, but it won’t be like a regular first contract expiring.
On the rebuild with no name, on Carey Price, on Martin St. Louis, on Cole Caufield's next contract, on the Juraj Slafkovsky decision, and much more. In my latest for @TheAthletic, a chat with Habs GM Kent Hughes, a rather busy man eight months on the job:https://t.co/FZ9QKv7G2X
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 28, 2022
The former University of Wisconsin standout will be an RFA2 and not eligible for an offer sheet. This is due to Caufield burning the first year of his deal at the end of the 2021 season by playing a handful of games. This is much similar to what Cale Makar, Torey Krug and Quinn Hughes are players that also experienced this situation.
General manager Kent Hughes also said that he wanted a clearer picture of the salary cap before he starts talks with the young scorer. However, he also said it wasn’t a hard and fast rule.
What it Means
The Canadiens will have $20 million come off the books at the end of the season. Montreal could also free up some more money if they make some trades during the season. The Canadiens were pretty smart about not letting Nick Suzuki get to the open market and Hughes will probably do the same with Caufield.
The Mosinee, Wis. native is going to play a big hand in the Canadiens’ rebuild. There’s no timetable on when talks will start, but Montreal seems to hold the cards. However, it’s likely they’ll make their young star happy with a fair deal. The rumoured rise in the salary cap could also play into Caufield’s favour.
Cole Caufield discusses what he wants to focus on this season and explains how this year compares to the start of last year’s training camp: https://t.co/k14wir60ji#TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/rDqy6QCR7t
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) September 24, 2022