Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes confirmed earlier this week that he would not be negotiating a contract with former 1st round pick Logan Mailloux, but that doesn’t mean he’s planning on losing the player for nothing next summer.
Sources within the Canadiens organization have confirmed to Montreal Hockey Now that a Bona Fide Offer was made to Mailloux prior to the June 1 deadline this past week, thereby ensuring the Canadiens retain his rights for one more year. This doesn’t mean the Canadiens intend on signing Mailloux to an entry-level contract just yet, but it does afford them significantly more flexibility in making their final decision prior to June 1, 2023.
According to Article 8.6(i) of the NHL’s NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), a club must send their CHL-based prospects a Bona Fide Offer prior to June 1 of the year immediately following their draft year in order to extend their exclusive negotiation period to the full two years usually allowed in the CBA. This means the Montreal Canadiens needed to send Mailloux a Bona Fide Offer prior to June 1, 2022, to retain exclusive negotiating rights with the youngster and retain him on their Reserve List. Below is the full ruling of Article 8.6(i):
“Subject to the provisions of Sections (b), (c), (d) and (e) below, such registration shall establish for such selecting Club the exclusive right of negotiation for the services of each Player selected and registered as against all other Clubs up to and including June 1 of the next calendar year following the date of his selection.
There has been a lot of discussion as to what to do with Mailloux moving forward, as his rights are now confirmed to remain exclusive to the Montreal Canadiens for another year. In presenting Mailloux with this Bona Fide Offer, the Canadiens now have multiple options going into the next calendar year. Here’s how things could break down moving forward:
Rights Expire, Claim Compensatory Pick
Now that the Montreal Canadiens have presented Mailloux with a Bona Fide Offer, the Montreal Canadiens must sign Mailloux before June 1, 2023, at 5 pm. Should they decide against it, they will lose his rights and Mailloux would simply go back into the draft for another club to select him. However, because a Bona Fide Offer was made before June 1, 2022, the Montreal Canadiens wouldn’t walk out of such an unfortunate situation empty-handed, as they would be awarded the 63rd overall selection in the 2023 NHL Draft.
According to Article 8.3(b) of the CBA, an NHL club that fails to sign their 1st round pick will receive a compensatory 2nd round pick in the draft immediately following the loss of those rights. That pick will land exactly 32 spots removed from where the original selection was made; meaning the former 31st overall pick would provide Montreal with the 63rd selection in 2023. Here is the full rule below:
“In the event a Club loses its draft rights to an Unsigned Draft Choice drafted in the 1st round of the Entry Draft (except as a result of failing to tender a required Bona Fide Offer (as defined below)), who (i) is again eligible for the Entry Draft, (ii) becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent, or (iii) dies, a Compensatory Draft Selection shall automatically be granted to that Club, which Compensatory Draft Selection shall be the same numerical choice in the second round in the Entry Draft immediately following the date the Club loses such rights. By way of example, if a Club cannot sign the third pick in the first round, it will receive the third pick in the second round as compensation.”
This rule benefits clubs that sour on the development of the prospects they’ve selected at the top of a draft. For example, the Minnesota Wild just received a compensatory 2nd round pick on Wednesday for choosing not to sign former 1st round pick Filip Johansson by the deadline. The last time a former 1st round pick from the CHL saw their rights in this way was back in 2016, when the Arizona Coyotes and former 1st round pick Conner Bleackley couldn’t come to terms on an entry-level contract. Former general manager John Chayka publicly stated that he preferred not to offer Bleackley a contract and instead secure the more valuable compensatory pick, which came in at 53rd overall.
“We’re going to take the compensation pick,” Chayka told NHL.com at the NHL Scouting Combine in 2016. “There’s a lot of value in that pick. That’s not to diminish anything Conner has done or the type of player he is. He had a good Memorial Cup. He’s a good player, but at this point [the draft pick] is a more valuable asset for us.”
Such an insurance policy allows Kent Hughes the flexibility to fall back on gaining a valuable compensatory pick and rid himself of his predecessor’s hot potato, should he not be satisfied with Mailloux’s personal and on-ice growth. This outcome would also provide good leverage for the Canadiens, who know they can fall back on the value of this 2nd round pick if they can’t find better value on the trade market, assuming they chose not to sign the youngster. The compensatory 63rd overall in the 2023 NHL Draft could give the Canadiens even more firepower to make trades or move up in a draft that is said to be quite top-heavy.
Include In A Trade
If Kent Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens feel that Mailloux could be worth more than a 2nd round pick on the trade market and be included as part of a package to acquire a more valuable asset, a trade may be the best route. Mailloux’s draft pedigree and his raw skill could entice a few general managers to take a gamble on him, and could help the Montreal Canadiens acquire an asset of need in the process.
If a team is looking for a talented youngster to add to their ranks at a valuable position, they may be tempted to look at a player like Mailloux. Last July, it was reported that multiple clubs were reportedly ready to draft the 19-year-old in the 2nd round prior to Montreal selecting him at the tail-end of the 1st round. If there is still interest in him across the league and he could be included in a deal as a sweetener, it could be a viable way for the Canadiens to move on from this selection, should they feel he hasn’t delivered on his promises.
Sign With Montreal Canadiens
In the event that the Montreal Canadiens and Kent Hughes feel that the work has been and Mailloux’s growth as a person is evident and genuine, they could proceed to offer him an entry-level contract and continue to work with him. The Montreal Canadiens have been adamant under Kent Hughes’ tenure regarding their expectations of Mailloux prior to considering any negotiation.
Mailloux does play a position of great need on right defence, but Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens have maintained that it will be Mailloux’s off-ice growth that will determine his future with the club. The option is still available to the Canadiens and is not one that should be discounted entirely at this time.