Canadiens forward Max Domi is Montreal’s most notable restricted free agent case this offseason. After having a breakout year in his first season with the team that saw him record 72 points, his output has dropped considerably this year with just 44 points in 71 games. He also has spent time on the wing after playing exclusively at center a year ago. On the surface, another bridge contract could make sense but as he’s just two years away from unrestricted free agency, doing so would carry some risk.
Speaking with reporters on a conference call, including Sportsnet’s Eric Engels, the 25-year-old indicated that there hasn’t been much in the way of substantive contract talks. While some teams are hesitant to talk about extensions due to the salary cap situation, the Canadiens aren’t a team that should be as concerned by that as they have been well under the cap over the last few seasons. However, it appears they’ll wait until the season ends before getting those talks underway.
More from the East:
- Some teams will greatly benefit from this pause in the schedule if games eventually resume and one of those is the Blue Jackets. Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch provides an update on their long list of injuries, noting that defensemen Seth Jones and Dean Kukan as well as wingers Oliver Bjorkstrand, Alexandre Texier, Cam Atkinson, and Nathan Gerbe are all ready to return. Winger Josh Anderson is also a possibility depending on when games were to actually take place; he was listed as out four-to-six months following shoulder surgery just after the trade deadline. The earliest he could play is July if he’s on the quicker end of that timetable. Meanwhile, center Brandon Dubinsky (wrist) remains out long-term and isn’t expected to play if the season returns.
- It has been a tough year for Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco. The 23-year-old was second in the AHL in scoring last season but has yet to get an NHL opportunity with Toronto. His output dipped this year to just 34 points in 44 games and the team was not able to find a new home for him after his midseason trade request. Sportsnet’s Luke Fox notes that an exit interview was conducted with him following the cancellation of the AHL season which means he will not be among Toronto’s ‘Black Aces’ for the stretch run and playoffs. Bracco is slated to be a restricted free agent this summer and it seems as if a change of scenery could very well be in the cards given how he has dropped on the depth chart.