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Alex Newhook: we’ll have to negotiate the length of the contract.

The last few days have been so busy in the NHL that it’s easy to forget that it’s only been four days since forward Alex Newhook arrived in Montreal. In return, the CH gave the Avalanche the 31st pick (which became Mikhail Gulyayev), the 37th pick (traded to Tampa Bay, which became Ethan Gauthier) and Gianni Fairbrother.

In fact, I say that the CH acquired Newhook, but in reality, they acquired the player’s rights. Let’s not forget that he’s currently a restricted free agent, the CH having made him a qualifying offer.

But in any case, he’ll be playing in Montreal next year (barring a colossal surprise).

At today’s press briefing, Kent Hughes was asked whether negotiations with Newhook had begun at all. The GM noted that there had been some very preliminary talks, but what’s most interesting is that, in his eyes, it’s really around the length of the contract that negotiations will revolve with Newhook’s clan.

Hughes doesn’t seem to be too worried about the salary aspect of the negotiations: he’s quite comfortable with the price range in which the contract should fall, but it feels like there will be talks centered on the term.

The player’s clan is likely to want a one- or two-year contract, while the CH would probably like to sign him for four years, as it did with Kirby Dach last summer.

But clearly, when you look at the current state of affairs with the Tricolore, Newhook’s contract is a priority for Montreal. In fact, according to Kent Hughes, he’s in the same category as Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylönen.

And in the case of Samuel Montembeault, who is eligible to sign a contract extension as of noon today, talks will begin once the team’s three restricted free agents are signed.

In reality, this makes sense considering that the cases of Newhook, RHP and Ylönen are more urgent (in the sense that they don’t have a contract for the coming season), but I can’t wait to see when these files will be settled. Remember that last summer, it took a very long time for Kirby Dach to sign his pact.

In short, we’ll be keeping an eye on everything over the next few weeks, but I can’t wait to see what Newhook’s contract looks like. I wouldn’t mind seeing him sign a four-year deal at $3 million a year (or even $3.4 million, similar to the one Dach signed last year).

In gusts

Kyle Dubas and the Penguins have woken up on the autonomy market, having just announced no less than four signings. Here they are:

– Five-year contract for Tristan Jarry.

– Huge six-year contract for Ryan Graves.

– Noel Acciari comes to town for three years.

– Alex Nedeljkovic will spend the next year with the Penguins.

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