Phillip Danault, 27, is in the final season of his three-year, US$9.25-million contract with a $3.083 million salary-cap hit and can become an unrestricted free agent. There have been reports Danault turned down a six-year, US$30-million offer during the off-season from Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin.
Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports, if indeed Danault did turn down the $30-million offer, it probably has more to do with him being uncertain what his future role with the team will be instead of money.
Danault stated that his role and ice time are more important than money. Danault will likely not see more ice time as Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi the No. 1 and No. 2 centres moving forward.
With the Habs playing so well, they will be faced with a situation many other teams have faced before. If they know they cannot re-sign Danault, do they trade him at the NHL trade deadline? Or do they keep him hopefully for a long playoff run?