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Pierre-Luc Dubois: we wonder if he could make more money than Nick Suzuki in Montreal

By signing Cole Caufield for $7.85 million until 2031, Kent Hughes created a media eclipse and made it clear: the Canadiens’ young forward, along with Nick Suzuki, represents one of the biggest pieces of the lineup.

It is around them that the club will be built offensively. And since Caufield led the club in goals in just 46 games, it’s not a bad game plan.

Is this a good decision? Everyone has an opinion on the matter, of course. But I think it’s a good decision because the guys have a reasonable contract and chemistry together.

They’re capable of taking the club to the top, but it remains to be seen how high it will go.

All this to say that management knows it will have to surround its core. There are guys in place to do that, as well as prospects and guys who will be drafted who will add to it.

That’s how the club will get back on the winning track.

Among the players who will be added, the name of Pierre-Luc Dubois is as popular as ever. Will Pat Brisson’s client (like Cole Caufield, incidentally) end up in Montreal?

More importantly, if so, at what price? After all, it’s safe to assume that management has, for the time being, set a maximum price for its players.

Marc Bergevin gave Kent Hughes a nice gift by offering Nick Suzuki $63 million over eight years. But why? Because today, the club’s captain and #1 center is a benchmark in town at $7.875 million a year.

No one is going to make me believe that Caufield earns $7.85 million a year without any connection to the captain’s contract…

Could Pierre-Luc Dubois earn at least $8 million? Because he’s a center, the situation is different from Caufield’s, but that would mean the Quebecer would surely have to ask for less than $7.875 million.

If he gets more, it means he’d be the club’s #1 center.

Especially if Dubois comes to Montreal and gets less than $8 million, it’s not because the Habs can’t pay more for a guy like him.

They really can’t.

Because yes, Dubois, who earned $6 million this year and will be RFA in a few weeks’ time, could fit nicely into the Montreal Canadiens’ salary structure.

Here’s a breakdown of the CH’s payroll right now.

  • Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Anderson, Mike Hoffman, Christian Dvorak, Joel Armia, Kirby Dach, Jake Evans, Rem Pitlick, Juraj Slafkovsky and Michael Pezzetta: $48,000,000 for 12 forwards.
  • Mike Matheson, Joel Edmundson, David Savard, Jordan Harris, Justin Barron, Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, Johnathan Kovacevic and Chris Wideman: $17,420,833 for nine defensemen.
  • Jake Allen, Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau: $5,740,000 for three goaltenders.
  • Contract buyout (Karl Alzner) and deferred bonuses from 2022-2023: $2,003,333

Excluding Carey Price ($10,500,000) from the equation, since he’ll be on the LTIR, the Habs have spent $73,164,166 to date in preparation for next year.

It will have to add at least one or two forwards (including Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who will be RFA this summer), but it will surely have to take away a goaltender and a defenseman. There will be transactions this summer… and it’s hard to see Joel Edmundson starting the year in Montreal. So there are ways to make more room.

So, right now, there’s $10,335,334 left to sign contracts, which isn’t bad at all for the Habs. There’s room, if you will, for Pierre-Luc Dubois.

We’d still have to agree on a price to pay the Jets and a price to pay the Quebecer in salary, if there’s a deal. But one thing at a time, okay?

In a gust

– Speak of the devil.

– It’s a beautiful day in Montreal.

– Cole Caufield had time on his side in negotiations, argues Tony Marinaro. [BPM Sports]

– Still.

– Interesting.

– He’ll be in demand.

– They’re strong.

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