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PHILLIP DANAULT REPORTEDLY TURNED DOWN A LENGTHY AND LUCRATIVE CONTRACT EXTENSION WITH THE HABS

Phillip Danault, who appears to be developing into one of the better two-way centres in the NHL today, was quite vocal after the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs after seeing his role reduced with the Montreal Canadians. Danault was dropped to the team's third line to make room for youngsters Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. He stated bluntly that he felt he could contribute offensively just as much as he did defensively and questioned whether he'd want to remain with the team if he was continuously placed down the lineup. Apparently, he was quite serious about it.

Danault is now in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent once this season ends. According to Mathias Brunet, a reliable and recognizable sports jounalist with Montreal's La Presse, Danault was offered a contract extension back in September along with Brendan Gallagher and Jeff Petry. Brunet stated the offer was for six years and a total of $30 million dollars, or $5 million per season. Brunet said Danault declined the offer. Brunet also said the Canadiens were willing to go a little higher with the offer (perhaps a few hundred thousand more per season) but it was again declined.

Danault has been the Canadiens most used forward for the past two seasons. He was recently given high praise by Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon, who called him one of the hardest guys to play against in the league and wondered why he hadn't won a Selke Trophy yet. Danault's current contract has paid him an average of $3.08 million since 2018-19.

Brunet wrote that he reached out to Danault's agent, former NHL goaltender Stéphane Fiset, for comment on the report. Fiset told him he had nothing to say. $5 million per season would put Danault on a similar playing field as Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the New York Islanders and Jonathan Marchessault of the Vegas Golden Knights. $5.3 million would have him at the level of the Rangers' Mika Zibanejad and Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues.



Source: La Presse
TIM TUCKER
JANUARY 22, 2021  (13H49)
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