Montreal Canadiens: Max Pacioretty trade talk, Kotkaniemi buzz, and RFAs

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 25: Max Pacioretty
MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 25: Max Pacioretty /
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Montreal Canadiens
MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 19: (Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

3) Michael McCarron and Kerby Rychel are still without a contract for the 2018-19 season. What do you think is a fair deal for both?

ZC: As of right now, both are Restricted Free Agents and are likely in situations where they need to prove themselves, and prove themselves quick. I think the Canadiens mismanaged McCarron’s development and tried to make him into something that he isn’t because of his big frame.

Rychel, on the other hand, was a nice flyer to take on from the Leafs, and I still think he has a little-untapped potential. I’m currently higher on Rychel than McCarron, but I think both sign one-year deals and get a chance to work with Jöel Bouchard in Laval. There are much worse players to employ in Laval, so if it doesn’t work out, you can move on and have no regrets.

NL: I think McCarron’s contract should be a two-year two-way deal with him making 800,000 per season. This is a league where speed is important, and he may never be able to make the jump full-time. I would give Rychel 850,000 for two years as I see more NHL talent and potential from him than McCarron.

WS: Both McCarron and Rychel are still without contracts for this upcoming season for a reason, neither of them lived up to the hype. McCarron was a first-round pick and turned into a part-time NHL player which is unfortunate because he’s 6’6″ and everyone loves a big body center, especially on a team that’s notorious for being small. McCarron might find a home in the NHL in the near future, but I doubt he will sign long-term anywhere and for very much money. I would offer McCarron a 2-year deal at most for 1.5 per season and tell him if he wants more money to go out and earn it.

Kerby Rychel is a little bit of a different situation. Rychel was acquired for the Leafs with Valiev, and because of that, I think the Canadiens are more intrigued to keep him around. The Montreal Canadiens traded an asset in Tomas Plekanec to the Leafs, yes it was a rental basis, but this move raised a lot of questions. Plekanec has always been a heart and soul player for the Canadiens and trading him specifically to the Leafs made a lot of people question management, so I don’t think you can let that move be overshadowed by letting Rychel walk.

Again he is one of those players who hasn’t lived up to the potential everyone saw in Junior. However, it is there. He has a cannon of a wrist shot and skates relatively well for a fairly big guy (6’2″ and 210 lbs). If I were in charge of contract negotiations, I think Rychel would be receiving 2 maybe 3 years at somewhere between 1-2 million and same as McCarron, be told to prove he belongs playing hockey at this level.