Montreal Canadiens News: Phillip Danault Turned Down Lucrative Contract Offer

VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 20: Phillip Danault Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JANUARY 20: Phillip Danault Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin as the busiest GM in the league over the offseason. He traded for Josh Anderson, Jake Allen and Joel Edmundson and signed them to new contract extensions.

He signed free agent Tyler Toffoli as well as Corey Perry and Michael Frolik. He was able to negotiate an entry-level contract with Alexander Romanov under tricky circumstances.

He was able to get Brendan Gallagher and Jeff Petry to sign contract extensions to stay in Montreal for a very long time. Apparently, he wasn’t satisfied with that and tried to extend another key part of the team.

There was a report out yesterday saying that Phillip Danault was offered, and refused, a lucrative contract extension of his own. He was apparently given the chance to stay in Montreal for the next six seasons with a cap hit of $5 million per year.

Danault has become a terrific defensive centre, but doesn’t find the back of the net very often. He can put up 50 points if he plays with Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher and also gets some power play time, but he isn’t going to carry a line offensively.

That’s fine, because he is good enough defensively to get some Frank J Selke attention. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Danault is voted the NHL’s best defensive forward at some point in the near future.

However, the Victoriaville native expressed he wasn’t very interested in taking on a primarily defensive role when he was moved down the lineup in the postseason last summer. He played a few games with Artturi Lehkonen and Paul Byron on the team’s third line while Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi moved into the top six.

Danault spoke with reporters and said he didn’t see why his role needed to change. This basically meant he didn’t want to be taken off the line with Tatar and Gallagher.

This season, Danault has three points, all assists, in five games. Suzuki has five points and Kotkaniemi has three of his own.

For a player that brings a lot to the table defensively, and can help out in the offensive zone with smart passes and work along the wall, Danault is worth a lot of money. But his career high in goals is just 13 while playing as a first line centre.

A player that couldn’t score 15 goals in his greatest season should be happy with a six year contract at $5 million per year.

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With all the moves that Bergevin made in the offseason, it is interesting to see he made a very fair offer to Danault as well. I won’t be surprised if Danault reconsiders in the near future and signs an extension almost identical to the one he reportedly turned down in the offseason.