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Report: Canadiens, Kirby Dach Eyeing Four-Year ($3.5M AAV) Contract

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Montreal Canadiens

With the Montreal Canadiens set to begin training camp in a few weeks, it appears that the team and restricted free agent centre Kirby Dach could be closing in on a new contract.

Late Thursday afternoon, Sportsnet NHL and Montreal Canadiens insider Eric Engels reported that one of the contract options that the Canadiens and the Kirby Dach camp have been discussing is a four-year contract that would carry a $3.5 million salary cap hit.

Engels first reported that such a contract would carry Kirby Dach straight into unrestricted free agency in July of 2026 but later corrected himself, pointing out that thanks to an injury not suffered during NHL play in his second season, it didn’t count as an accrued season at only 18 games.

As reported here three weeks ago, the general feeling amongst other NHL executives was that given Dach’s lack of production and that he hadn’t exactly lived up to the expectations of being drafted third overall at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, he wouldn’t cost the Montreal Canadiens this much.

“The jury’s still out on him and he and his agent know that,” the source told Montreal Hockey Now at the time. “I’m thinking no more than $1.7 AAV; 2 years max.”

Of course that was before Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes knew that he could have Carey Price’s $10.5 million cap hit off the books. Still, when appraised of Engel’s report above, that same source was a bit surprised.

“Look, I wouldn’t agree to that if I was general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, but I’m not, and that being said, Kent’s done a great job since getting there,” he said. “I just think you go a little lower on the AAV to make him prove himself. I do think it’s good that he’s not a UFA at the end of this contract if that’s indeed what they sign for.”

The Montreal Canadiens acquired Kirby Dach on the NHL draft floor at the Bell Centre on July 7 after trading defenceman Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick to the New York Islanders in exchange for the 13th overall pick, and then flipping the 13th and 66th overall picks to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Dach. Since being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks third overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, the 21-year-old Dach has 19 goals and 40 assists in 152 career NHL games.

 

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