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Juraj Slafkovsky and the concept of “performing beyond one’s contract”
Credit: Getty Images
Why did Jonathan Marchessault leave Vegas? Why do the Golden Knights usually say goodbye to important players every season?

GM Kelly McCrimmon recently offered an explanation.

In a fairly transparent response to the media on Monday, the Knights’ CEO stated that one of the reasons the team won the Stanley Cup in 2023 was because players had performed beyond their contract. In English, we say that guys outperform their contract.

Clearly, Marchessault, who earned $5 million per season in Nevada, wasn’t projected to be worth the $5.5 million per season the Preds gave him.

The result? He left Vegas, which he didn’t want to do.

The case of the Golden Knights is blatantly obvious: in 2023, there are guys who don’t earn a fortune who stood up. Yes, Jack Eichel and Mark Stone were good in the playoffs, but…

Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson, Ivan Barbashev, Adin Hill and company all gave more to the club than the customer demanded, if their salaries are anything to go by. The case of the 2018 finals is also compelling.

And that brings us to the Canadiens.

Reading a text by Arpon Basu, who revisited Juraj Slafkovsky’s contract in a paper on The Athletic, we find similar terms.

Just about every Stanley Cup champion has players who perform beyond their contract, and Slafkovsky is a prime candidate to do just that in a few years’ time. – Arpon Basu

If Slaf, Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield were to continue to perform, it would mean that together, they could occupy less than 1/4 of the payroll (it should exceed $100M in a few seasons) and produce more than their contract allows.

And if the Habs are really good in four years’ time, for example, the club could have a run all the way with a certain Ivan Demidov on his entry-level contract.

That’s just one example among many.

We understood that Slaf accepting less money was an advantage, but here’s a concrete example. The Maple Leafs, with guys who aren’t performing in the playoffs and who are money hungry, must want to take notes.


– Panthers in action.

– For those wondering how to say his name.

– There’s still talent on the market.

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