In case you missed it last night, the Montreal Canadiens traded forward Alex Galchenyuk to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Max Domi. The deal was made as a one for one trade, with no picks or prospects included in the trade.
TRADE ALERT: Coyotes acquire Galchenyuk from Montreal for Domi. More details to come.
Immediate reaction from the Habs’ fanbase was one of shock and disappointment. While Domi is a valuable player, the sentiment from most fans is that the 24 year old Galchenyuk is a superior player in terms of skill and has a higher ceiling for potential than Domi. Whether or not either player fulfills their potential or not remains the be seen and it’s likely that we’ll have to wait years to see who wins this deal.
However, one of the hidden pieces of this deal not apparent yesterday evening has finally come out just 12 hours later. Domi, who was a pending restricted free agent has signed a new two year contract with an annual cap of $3.15 million.
Max Domi’s new 2 year contract with Canadiens: $2.9 M plus $250,000 in SIgning bonus
Galchenyuk is signed for two more years at a cap hit of $4.9 million, meaning that Habs general manager Marc Bergervin just bought himself nearly $2 million in additional cap space, perhaps to sign a certain superstar captain from the New York Metropolitan area?
Of course, we’re talking about New York Islanders captain and pending unrestricted free agent John Tavares. It’s expected that Bergevin and the Habs are going to make a strong pitch for Tavares in free agency and, clearly, the team is clearing all the cap space they can to outbid any and all contenders. Montreal has a projects $14 million in cap space to use this offseason and could offer Tavares as much as $12 million per season on the open market.
It’s expected that the Vegas Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks and Tavares’ own Islanders squad will also be aggressive in negotiations to land the superstar centerman. Still, despite the rumors no other GM besides Bergevin made any proactive moves to clear the necessary space for Tavares. Buckle up, Habs fans… this is going to be an interesting offseason.