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Montreal Canadiens RFA’s: Alexander Romanov



Montreal Canadiens

This is the first of a five-part series looking at the upcoming restricted free agents for the Montreal Canadiens, and whether or not the Canadiens should and will keep each individual RFA?

The first RFA on the docket is Montreal Canadiens defenceman Alexander Romanov.

The 22-year-old, 6-foot-1, 209-pound defenceman is on an expiring three-year, $3.5 million entry-level contract that carried a $894,167 salary cap hit. It should be noted that when Romanov signed his entry-level contract in the summer of 2020, he immediately burned the first year of his contract because he was 20 years old at the time. As my partner-in-scribe here at MHN, Marco D’Amico wrote this past Thursday, Alexander Romanov is also not eligible for an NHL offer sheet even if the Montreal Canadiens do not lock him up by the start of free agency on July 13.

“The fact that Romanov didn’t play a game during the 2020 NHL Playoffs meant that he could burn the first year of his contract without accruing a year of professional experience. A traditional RFA coming out of their entry-level contract usually has three years of professional experience, as they would likely have three consecutive years of professional game experience in the NHL or AHL by that time, like Kotkaniemi last summer. Because Romanov only has two seasons with ten or more games played, he falls under the status of a 10.2(c) RFA”

So therefore, while the Montreal Canadiens surely want to retain Romanov and sign him to a new contract, they are not in as much of a hurry to do so. However, the four other restricted Montreal Canadiens free agents, Cayden Primeau, Kale Clague, Rem Pitlick and Michael Pezzetta can be offer-sheeted but the latter three can’t if and when they file for arbitration. That leaves potentially a four-day window for any team to offer sheet Clague, Pitlick and Pezzetta if they wait until the July 17 5 PM ET deadline to file for arbitration.

Back to Romanov though, the Montreal Canadiens clearly view him as a key part of their blue line going forward. Romanov’s workload increased this past season as he averaged 20:24 TOI. The 38th overall pick from the 2018 NHL Entry draft had three goals and 10 assists in 79 games played and also became more of a physical presence as the season went on.

So what could be his cap hit be for his next contract be and how long could that contract be? One NHL executive source, citing the current ‘cap hell’ the Montreal Canadiens find themselves in, opined to MHN Monday that Romanov’s next contract with the Montreal Canadiens could be a three-year bridge contract with a cap hit upwards of $4-4.5 million. The fact that the Canadiens have some young defenseman already in the lineup and more coming could also factor into a bridge contract, as will the lack of the offer sheet threat.

That won’t be the case however when his second contract expires, so with Romanov’s expected progression and trajectory, the Montreal Canadiens will need to climb out of that ‘cap hell’.



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2 year bridge at 4 mil is what I’m guessing … big part of our future … dumb bum already gave away another fantastic Russian defender for a fragile frog


Pretty stupide, non? Some of the grittiest NHL players are and have been French Quebecers. Oui, Drouin, specifically is fragile, further I, myself, call him ‘Godot’, as he never arrives when needed. But that ain’t because he’s French. If French players aren’t to your taste you don’t qualify as a Habs fan in my opinion.


I would like Hughes to swing a deal with Arizona for Drouin, Shea’s contract for Dylan Guenther. Plays with Guhle. They’ve both scored tonight. He is a R shot and a scoring machine who has scored tonight. So far 12 goals in the playoffs

Marco D'Amico

The last thing Arizona is going to do at this junction is trade their top prospect.

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