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A bridge contract for Cole Caufield: Vincent Damphousse wants nothing to do with it
Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton have an important off-season ahead of them at the helm of the Montreal Canadiens.

Indeed, the CH’s goal for next year is to be competitive, and therefore to look towards the top of the standings rather than the bottom.

To achieve this, Hughes and Gorton will have to work very hard on a number of issues.

And if there’s one issue that’s at the top of the Montreal Canadiens’ priority list, it’s Cole Caufield’s contract.

Indeed, signing the Tricolore star to a long-term contract is of the utmost importance.

The CH’s No. 22 reached the end of his three-year NHL entry-level contract this season, leaving him without a contract for next season.

No need to worry, Caufield is a restricted free agent, and he can’t go to arbitration.

And that’s where, according to Vincent Damphousse, the CH has the big stick.

According to the Tricolore analyst, signing Cole Caufield to a bridge contract is out of the question.

Why would we do that?

Well, because it would put the CH in a very bad position, where it would be forced to give Caufield a lot more money per year at the end of this bridge contract, especially if Caufield has, for example, scored 40-goal seasons, and even 50-goal seasons.

According to Damphousse, the CH is in a strong position vis-à-vis Caufield.

“It’s eight years or stay with you until Christmas and you decide if you want to play field hockey.” – Vincent Damphousse

It’s true that the CH may decide not to back down from its eight-year offer, and instead negotiate with Caufield on the amount per year.

However, if Caufield doesn’t want to sign for eight years, because he hopes to sign for more money per year later, well, that’s when the CH might decide not to flinch.

But that would penalize both Caufield and the CH.

Going without the little maverick for part of the season really wouldn’t be a good idea for the CH, especially if they want to win games next season.

In short, I understand Damphousse’s point of view about not wanting to give Caufield a bridge contract, and I agree with it.

Giving Caufield a bridge contract could greatly harm the CH later on, while creating doubt and fear in the minds of CH fans as to Caufield’s real intentions to stay in Montreal.

On the other hand, I don’t think the CH can afford to play the Kyle Dubas game with William Nylander, for example, a few years ago.

The CH needs Caufield, and it needs him right from the start of the season, especially considering that he hasn’t played since January 19.

In short, this is a key issue for Hughes and Gorton, and they need to make the best possible decision.

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