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Tony Marinaro wonders if Clayton Keller could make it to Montreal against Cole Caufield

Ever since he was drafted by the Coyotes in 2016, I’ve been a big fan of Clayton Keller. The barely 24-year-old is an extremely talented forward, and in 2022-2023, he had by far the best season of his career.

Mainly with Nick Schmaltz and Barrett Hayton, he collected 86 points. Imagine him with NHL-calibre linemates…

His father posted on social media a few days ago that his son would not be playing for Arizona next year. Since then, rumors from all corners of the league have been published by the hundreds. Daddy Keller admitted he was hacked, but you know what? I don’t believe it at all. And neither does Tony Marinaro.

In fact, the main interested party asked the question: “Is the CH ready to part with Cole Caufield to go get Keller?”

In his opinion, there’s a world where both can play in Montreal, but he wonders if Caufield’s contractual situation is linked to the Keller file. Why do you ask? For the simple reason that if Caufield asks Kent Hughes for a three-year contract, he might want to leave when his contract expires. And if that’s the case, Keller would be a logical target for the CH DG.

If negotiations don’t progress with Caufield and Pat Brisson demands a three-year contract, it means he may leave at the end of his contract and make more than 10 million elsewhere. If we know it’s only three years for Caufield, we have to make an effort to get Keller. – Tony Marinaro

At the moment, negotiations between the main interested party and Montreal don’t seem to be progressing as planned. The question is whether his future lies in the metropolis.

As Marinaro so aptly put it, if Keller really wants to leave the desert, his value will take a big hit and teams will be left holding the bag. If that’s the case, Hughes will have to take advantage of the situation. I’d even be willing to trade my two first-round picks this year and a prospect like Owen Beck. Yes, I’d pay top dollar.

The American is under contract for another five years. His annual salary is $7.15 million. Caufield’s next contract is likely to be around that.

Keller in Montreal, then, I say yes. But I wouldn’t trade Cole Caufield.

In brief

– A champion’s attitude!

– It didn’t take long.

– Indeed.

– I love it.

– Too bad.

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