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Alex DeBrincat at the Red Wings: three things to note in the Canadian division
Last night, the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators put the finishing touches to a deal to send Alex DeBrincat home to Michigan. He also signed a four-year contract valued at $7.875 million per year.

What we notice is that the Sens, faced with a player they had to trade (he would have left as an independent player in a year’s time), didn’t exactly manage to maximize his value – especially considering the price he paid a year ago. That said, they minimized the damage.

Because, in reality, Ottawa didn’t have much choice but to send him to Detroit. Yes, the club could have traded him elsewhere, but clearly, he wanted to come home.

The Sens were kind enough to trade him there, but in reality, it’s probably because their best offer came from Detroit.

His desire to sign there was always clear, and I wonder how likely other teams were to sign him. After all, he seems to have put the pressure on to come home.

Because otherwise, I can’t believe that no club was willing/able to do better than Detroit’s offer.

What this means, in other words, is that DeBrincat has tied his hands a lot more than Pierre-Luc Dubois did with the Jets. The latter agreed to sign a big contract elsewhere than in Montreal.

And that, for me, is an acknowledgement of this signing: DeBrincat has taken the means to play at home.

Of course, it’s impossible to know everything about the CH and Dubois. Perhaps the CH didn’t want to approach the Jets’ price and Dubois’ price (for the transaction and the signing), and that dampened the Québécois’ ardour.

So I’ll just say this: DeBrincat and Detroit were more willing to trust each other than Dubois and Montreal.

What I’m also seeing is that the Habs’ already strong division hasn’t just weakened. After all, Pierre Dorion didn’t get his forward out of the Atlantic.

It’s a shame for the CH, which will have a hard time holding its own in such a context in 2023-2024.

What fascinates me is that I understand the context that DeBrincat forced his boss’ hand, but in the end, the Sens traded the player at a discount in the division.

I’m not the only one who finds this a fascinating context, am I?

Of course, I’m sure it tears Pierre Dorion’s heart out, but he did it anyway. And that’s what makes me realize that divisions aren’t important in today’s NHL.

Why isn’t division important in today’s NHL? Because teams never play each other.

I don’t want to rehash a milk run I’ve delivered in the past, but it’s not right that the Habs went to Boston just once this year. They’ve also been to Minnesota, Dallas and Arizona.

Trading a big player in one division isn’t necessarily worse than trading him in the other Eastern division. And in fact, for a club like Ottawa that’s going to be fighting for draft spots, it doesn’t make any difference.

And finally, what I see is that signing a four-year contract is interesting for DeBrincat, but also for the other NHL stars who are negotiating.

Auston Matthews comes to mind. Everyone knows that he doesn’t want to sign for eight years and that a four- or five-year contract is more realistic for him with the Maple Leafs.

DeBrincat is 25 years old. That means he’ll be 29 when his contract expires, which means he’ll have flexibility.

With the cap going up en masse, he’ll be able to sign a huge contract if he plays up to his talent. He’ll also be able to evaluate whether he wants to sign in Detroit or elsewhere in due course.

Auston Matthews is also 25 and will be 31 at the end of the deal if he signs a five-year contract that takes effect in 2024. He too could break the bank.

Clearly, the DeBrincat case is fascinating for what’s happening in the division.

In bursts

– The Blue Jays aimed for a home run in the draft.

– Alouettes loss last night.

– Read more.

– Can Logan Mailloux surprise at camp? [TSN 690]

– Too bad for Canada.

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