Alexander Romanov Ineligible to Join the Montreal Canadiens

VANCOUVER , BC - JANUARY 4: Alexander Romanov. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER , BC - JANUARY 4: Alexander Romanov. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

Amid a flurry of news surrounding the National Hockey League’s Return to Play plans, Montreal Canadiens’ prospect Alexander Romanov will be unable to join the team when the play-in series begins.

This may come as disappointing news for the Montreal Canadiens and their fans alike who were looking forward to finally seeing one of the organization’s top prospects in a Habs uniform. This news comes after the official announcement of a tentative agreement between the NHL and NHLPA regarding a CBA extension and their Return to Play Plan.

A new rule put in place will affect players who are eligible to sign entry-level contracts (ELC) such as New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin, Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexander Romanov. These players, although ineligible to play upon the NHL’s Return to Play, can be signed to ELC’s and burn the first year of the contracts if both the player and their respective teams come to an agreement.

Given that Alexander Romanov was signed to a three-year ELC in early May, Romanov and the Montreal Canadiens can go straight to discussing burning the 2019-20 season of the contract. However, this is not something that would make sense for the organization and seems unlikely at this point in time.

On a conference call that took place on July 2nd, Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien mentioned Alexander Romanov was “a good young talent, and a future Canadiens player” but expressed uncertainty on the likelihood of this being a legitimate possibility. One would think this is an outcome both Marc Bergevin and Claude Julien anticipated, so it will likely not throw a wrench in any plans the Canadiens had for their lineup. However, it certainly would have been an advantage for a team lacking on the left side of their defensive core.

Alexander Romanov was also keen on joining the Canadiens amid signing his ELC, so the recent news is surely disappointing for the young defenseman. The Montreal Canadiens, their fans and Alexander Romanov alike will all have to wait a little while longer to see him play.