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Denis Gurianov: $2.9 million qualifying offer not worth it
The Montreal Canadiens were very quiet at the National Hockey League trade deadline.

This disappointed many fans, but it was to be expected, and almost all analysts and insiders were predicting that the CH would not be very active.

Nevertheless, a few days before the deadline, Kent Hughes made a move by trading Evgenii Dadonov, one of his only (if not the only) healthy and somewhat valuable assets on his team.

The state of health of Sean Monahan and even Joel Edmundson will have cost Kent Hughes some potential trades.

In return for Dadonov, the CH DG took a nice gamble by getting his hands on Denis Gurianov, a former first-round pick (12th overall) in 2015, now 25 years old.

Having already scored 20 goals in 2019-2020, Gurianov represented a nice asset obtained in return for a guy like Dadonov who had no future with the CH at the height of the 2022-2023 season.

The Gurianov gamble got off to a good start as the Russian put together a string of good games while scoring a few points, mostly goals.

Gurianov’s talent frequently shone through, and you could really see the natural marker in him.

However, the semi-honeymoon quickly faded after nearly 13 games.

After eight points, including five goals, in his first 13 games with the Bleu Blanc Rouge, Gurianov went into hibernation for the next 10 games, which were also the last 10 games of the season.

So, in 23 games with the CH, we got to see the whole of Gurianov’s work.

We’ve been able to appreciate his good points, and criticize his bad ones.

The problem?

In general, his bad points outweighed his good ones.

And that’s when you have to wonder if Gurianov did enough in this trial with the Tricolore to earn himself a new contract.

As Marc Dumont explains in his article, the CH must be cautious with Gurianov.

His start with the CH was very encouraging, but the second half of his career was marked by a number of worrying red flags, which led to his exit from Dallas.

Kent Hughes must now decide whether to offer the 25-year-old Russian a contract or not, and let him become a free agent.

Because yes, Gurianov is only a restricted free agent at the moment, which means the CH owns his rights unless Kent Hughes decides not to qualify Gurianov.

This option of simply letting Gurianov go without qualifying him is very possible considering the CH’s qualifying offer for number 25 is $2.9 million.

2.9 M$ is still a lot for what Gurianov has demonstrated.

We therefore conclude that his qualifying offer isn’t really worth it, even if it was only for one year.

Gurianov would become an unrestricted free agent after this one-year contract.

So what we understand here is that Gurianov won’t be staying in Montreal.

However, let’s not jump to conclusions.

Gurianov could very well decide to come to an agreement with Kent Hughes on the terms of a one-year contract at a lower salary in order to prove himself to both the CH and other teams with a view to his complete autonomy in the summer of 2024.

In short, if Gurianov is willing to drop his qualifying offer in order to stay with the CH for a year with a contract worth a little over a million, for example, I think it could be a win-win situation for both sides.

The Russian could make the mistake of sticking to his qualifying offer of $2.9 million and refusing the CH’s lesser offer, as he might not even get a contract on the free agent market, and especially not one around the $2.9 million mark.

Gurianov will also have the right to arbitration. If the CH qualifies Gurianov, but can’t agree on a contract, the situation will go to arbitration.

In short, it’s a complex situation that we’ll have to keep a close eye on this summer.

Personally, I think Hughes will want to keep Gurianov for another season, so that his gamble doesn’t last just 23 games.

Who knows, with the right development under Martin St-Louis and even Adam Nicholas, Gurianov could finally become the player the Dallas Stars saw in him when they drafted him.

In a gust of wind

– In any case, if there is one, the Montreal CF is in pole position.

– Speaking of CF.

– Fedorov has yet to lose a series since becoming CSKA Moscow coach.

– The young Slovak prodigy is targeted by the guys, considering she’s too dominant.

– We’ll see her again in six weeks.

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