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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Signing Of Cole Caufield Sets Franchise On Right Path



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens not only secured their future by signing Cole Caufield, but set the foundation for even bigger things to come.

With Caufield and Nick Suzuki now locked in until at least 2030, the Habs have ensured the long-term viability of their forward corps as they transition to a younger and more talented core.

That being said, general manager Kent Hughes‘ next task becomes even more tricky than locking down core players: surrounding them with even more talent.

Acquiring Kirby Dach and drafting Juraj Slafkovsky was a strong first step for the club, with Dach signed to a team-friendly deal for another three seasons.

The club also owns the 5th overall selection in the 2023 NHL Draft, which could be used to add yet another interesting forward like Will Smith, Matvei Michkov, or Ryan Leonard.

If the team is able to add another game-breaking talent to this core, they’ll be well on their way to success; but, as we know, the trick isn’t acquiring them, it’s keeping them around.

As these youngsters will slowly funnel into the organization and up the lineup, one constant will remain: Caufield and Suzuki will remain at the head of the pecking order.

And why is that important? I’m glad you asked!

Kings Of The North

The NHL salary cap may not be rising by more than $1M this season, but it’s estimated that it will come near to $95-100M by 2026; and that’s where these deals will pay even further dividends.

Securing both young stars to deals under $8M, Nick Suzuki ($7.875M) and Cole Caufield ($7.85M) will provide Kent Hughes with a significant amount of cap flexibility when the club reaches contender status.

Not only will they be entering their primes on value contracts, but it will give the club the fiscal flexibility it has been craving in order to improve the club in other areas.

We’ve seen championship teams quickly get disassembled due to a cap crunch, while contending teams giving themselves one kick at the can before having to undergo a fiscal overhaul.

In signing them to these deals, the Canadiens have bought themselves time down the line to keep a potential contending team together longer.

It also helps create a fiscal hierarchy for the club moving forward, where the team’s salary structure resembles the organizational depth chart; meaning their best players now set the bar for what salary expectations will be moving forward.

With a young crop of talented youngsters coming through, having that kind of team culture will go a long way in helping the Montreal Canadiens build a winner down the line.

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Great signing by management. Happy that Caulfield loves his new home. Its an exciting place to be a great hockey player. Hopefully we can attract ,other players to want to play in Montreal. We’re starting off with the right culture. Our fans are welcoming these new players with open arms and embracing their futures. Can’t allow expectations to get in the way. 1 Step at a time mes amis!

john harmsworth

With projections for the CAP to rise strongly in coming years, now is definitely the time to nail down contracts for players who look to be the core of the team for the future. We are in an excellent time to be rebuilding and we should try to figure out who our Dmen will be and lock them up as well.


I agree in theory, but if the cap is going up to $100M by 2026, it’ll be tough to convince top players available via free agency or our own pipeline to accept a deal under Suzuki and Caufield’s by that time. Right now, Suzuki and Caufield’s deals each equate to about 9.57% of the cap. Extrapolate to 2026 with a cap of $100M and players signing their deals in that time would only be getting 7.85% of the cap (or likely less if Suzuki and Caufield’s deals are the internal cap). It could be tricky to convince top free agents or our own burgeoning stars looking for new deals to take the haircut in order to not surpass those deals. They’d be losing over $13.76M on an 8yr contract. That’s a lotta poutine! Luckily, the cap shouldn’t go up too much by next summer which means if Dubois actually does sign here, we should still be able to get him for a similar deal to Suzuki and Caufield’s.

Hab in exile

I disagree with the assumption that Suzuki and Caufield are going to be ABSOLUTELY our top line. If Suzuki is our 1C, I don’t think we will be competing for a cup. I see Suzuki as a 2C or maybe a 1b (70-80 pts/82 games). Hopfully Dach or our 2023 #1 pick can be 1C on a contender. So I could Dach getting an extension with a higher Aav than Suzuki if he develops into a 1C.

Hab in exile

I am getting concerned with Caufield getting injured. He has yet to play a full season and the knock on him is that he is a smaller player and potentially more injury prone as a result. Kind of looking like that to me at the moment. Hopefully he can put a complete season in next year while continuing his high scoring ways.

Gary Dougherty

I am going to archive this article. If Caufield is the guy, then in 5 years, I will eat crow and apologize to Habs nation. However, and for right now, I think this is overpaid.