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ON • Canada • 2017 Years Old • Male
I have to say I have always had a soft spot for Danault.

His acquisition is definitely one of the better Bergevin trades. He came from Chicago alongside a 2nd round pick for the likes of Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise in a year that the Habs were absolutely atrocious.

Both players sent to Chicago had no long term impact for the Habs despite their fairly respected tenure with them. There were no tears shed as Montreal looked to be heading for a rebuild.

Danault however turned out to be quite the haul for the Habs. He came from a very successful Chicago system that gave him all the tools he needed to succeed. Organizationally he was a player they desperately needed to fill an positional void.

He was never lights out to start; but he was steady. As time wore on he slowly cemented himself as a fairly productive player and eventually a top line centre that could be counted on in all scenarios.

Sure, the Habs had zero depth, and he had no competition for top lines minutes, but that shouldn't take away from what he did. He played well enough to land himself a 3 year 9,250,000 contract in 2017-18 to cover until 2020-21. He has successfully played two years off the contract and enters his final year. No one can argue that he has not been worth it so far.

But now we come to the crux of the matter, what to do with him? His last few years have seen him put up 53 points/81 games and 47 points/71 games. That translates to a .65 and .66 per game point production. He has been solid in the faceoff dot with consistent wins over 50% of his draws. His +-, if you care to put stock in those numbers have been +35. He has been adept defensively and has managed to produce playing top line minutes the last two years for a offensively challenged team. He has been an excellent player and teammate.

Yet not everything is going well for Philip. Where once he stood alone amongst centers on the team, he now has rivals. Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi are promising players who look to be heirs to the 1-2 spot on the team. He may no longer have access to the topline minutes he once had, which begs the question, will he produce in the same fashion? Suzuki in particular after a promising season and playoffs seems poised to take on a bigger role.

So where does that leave him? Will he put up such solid numbers in a third line role? Is he good enough to merit top line minutes in the face of rising talent? What do you pay him...?

I have my answer to that. I say you pay him the exact same, if not slightly more. There is no question as to his worth to this team. They may have a bit more depth in center these days than when he first came to town, but they are not loaded by any means.

He is a player who can go up and down the lineup for Julien and has shown he can more than carry his weight for a cap hit of 3.5- 4 million. With the flat cap and his own abilities taken into consideration, I don't have an issue paying him as high as 4 per year. But not a dime more than that.

But that's not a knock on him. The team sits precariously cap-wise due to its....interesting signings this offseason and limits what they can pay him while saving some in reserve for future signings.

I would love to see him back with the Habs. He could be welcomed for 3.5- 4 mil at a 3 year term. I don't know if he would bite on it, but I would even give more term as he will be only 28 next year. However this could all be the homer in me speaking. I am admittedly quite biased as I said above.

So what do you think? Am I too much of a homer for him? Do you think he should be paid 4 mil? More, less? Or should the Habs let him walk?

What do you think?
Filed Under:   Danault   Habs   Signings   Trades  
December 2, 2020 3:30 PM ET | Delete
With Kotkaniemi, Suzuki and Poehling it doesn't make sense to waste money on Danault.
December 2, 2020 5:16 PM ET | Delete
I understand where you're coming from but I don't know if I'd be willing to trust Poehling yet. Particularily with wow Julien uses younger players. He totally misplayed Poehling last year. Probably stunted his development and confidence.
December 6, 2020 8:02 AM ET | Delete
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December 7, 2020 8:42 AM ET | Delete
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December 8, 2020 11:16 AM ET | Delete
If MTL is paying Anderson 5.5M AAV for the next 7 seasons, while not playing good hockey in over 2 years, I guess Mtl's top player is worth 15M AAV. All jokes aside, it hard to put a value on a guy who is a potential selke nominee, with a career high of just 13 goals...... I say he is worth a 3 year deal, 6M AAV
December 10, 2020 1:17 AM ET | Delete
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December 12, 2020 2:21 PM ET | Delete
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December 14, 2020 7:43 PM ET | Delete
He’s a steal on his current contract. A lot of teams will give him a raise to anchor their 2nd line.
December 15, 2020 11:57 AM ET | Delete
@ Bikeguy99, oh wow, hell of an offer. I get where youre coming from with his defensive play and with what anderson is paid, but i dont know if he could merit 6 mil. 5 seems like a stretch even.
December 15, 2020 11:58 AM ET | Delete
@ Pairo . He is definitely a steal at his current price tag. I think youre right that other teams will definitely pay him to play in a greater role with them.
December 18, 2020 12:16 AM ET | Delete
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December 18, 2020 2:21 PM ET | Delete
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December 18, 2020 2:22 PM ET | Delete
Message PostedSure Danault and Bergevin will work great together, as a player he will fit in perfectly in the gameplan. Can't wait to see thatEricFleuristes
December 21, 2020 12:53 PM ET | Delete
A bad trade. But, just off 3 Cups....we were in a Cap crunch and Danault seemed expendable for a couple vets in a last gasp run. The price you pay when in that "Cup window". I would do again in a split second if it meant 3 more Cups...lol
December 21, 2020 2:01 PM ET | Delete
@hawk35 I totally get you. Given what was on the Chicago roster at the time it wasn't a huge loss for the Hawks. Plus, the received players were meant to push you over the top. One of those rare times the Habs walked away with the better side of a deal but I understand the Chicago mindset. Lol one day I hope the Habs are in a position where we can acquire a veteran or two and not balk at the cost. No time soon i think though :(
December 25, 2020 3:19 AM ET | Delete
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December 25, 2020 5:03 AM ET | Delete
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January 4, 2021 10:52 AM ET | Delete
Good article. That said, Danault is a great player and I would like to keep him, but there's no chance he accepts under 5 million. It definitiely is too much money, but I don't think it's that easy to move on from him right now when the 4 next centermen in your depth chart are either under 21 or have less than 30 NHL games under your belt. It'll be a wait and see for Bergy...give the young guys another few months to show what they have and go from there.
January 9, 2021 3:42 PM ET | Delete
You cannot pay a player rated as a 3rd or 4th centre $5 million. They current rate for similar players is $700,000 to $2 million.
January 14, 2021 6:36 PM ET | Delete
CBJ should be pissed. Whenever a player makes it known he wants out, that immediately puts the holding team over a barrel.
January 19, 2021 12:03 AM ET | Delete
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