After reports had surfaced in recent days that the two sides were close, the Montreal Canadiens and Kirby Dach now officially have an agreement in place. The team has announced a four-year contract worth a total of $13.45MM, giving Dach a cap hit of $3.3625MM through the 2025-26 season. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports tweets the full breakdown:
- 2022-23: $2.5MM
- 2023-24: $4.1MM
- 2024-25: $2.85MM
- 2025-26: $4.1MM
A contract like this could be seen as a disappointment relative to his draft position but is also something of a surprising total for a player that has scored just 19 goals as a professional. Dach, 21, was the third overall pick in 2019 but has struggled to stay healthy and productive, reaching just 152 games played and 59 points so far. Those disappointing totals led to his jettison from the Chicago Blackhawks this summer, despite being young enough to potentially be part of their rebuild.
Notably, Dach is signing away four years of RFA status but will not be an unrestricted free agent at the deal’s expiry. He will be an arbitration-eligible player coming off a solid contract, meaning if he doesn’t progress over the next four years, there’s a chance the Canadiens could have to leave him unqualified, not wanting to risk an arbitration award.
Montreal is clearly betting that won’t be the case, signing up Dach to a relatively long-term deal in the hopes that he can unlock some of the potential that put him at the top of the draft. Kaapo Kakko, for instance, was selected just ahead of Dach and has nearly the same production, and settled for a two-year deal this summer with a cap hit of just $2.1MM. The New York Rangers took on much less risk with their 2019 draft pick, though they are in a very different place in terms of a competitive window.
Dach has all the things that make scouts drool but hasn’t been able to put it all together. His size, skating ability, puck skills, and positional versatility all should make him a perfect player for the Canadiens to build around – but to this point he has been so inconsistent it is not clear what they are even getting. In 70 games last year he generated just 116 shots on net, despite averaging more than 18 minutes a night. He lost nearly 70% of his 500+ faceoffs, took 19 minor penalties, and scored just nine goals, even while having Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane as two of his three most common linemates (Philipp Kurashev falls between the two).
Frankly, it wasn’t a strong year for the former Saskatoon Blades star. With this new deal, the Canadiens are betting that they can turn around his floundering career by putting him in a better situation. Since the club is not expected to compete right away, they can afford to take risks like this on high-potential players. But at some point, the Canadiens will have to turn the corner on their rebuild; Dach will need to improve by then, or risk being left behind by the rest of the talented young players in the system.
That’s quite a bit of scratch for a guy that really hasn’t proven a whole lot. Perhaps since they’re actually going to be forced to play him on the wing, that could help. However, considering that he’s played alongside stars and still left us wanting…it remains to be seen.
It still blows my mind that the Hawks were able to pry the 13th pick AND a 3rd for him. Frank Nazar is going to be awesome.
Not saying Nazar isn’t going to be great, but people said Dach was gonna be awesome too. Way too tough to tell at this point who won this trade. Will be several years before we really know.
True dat. To be honest, I should temper my expectations. Considering that the Hawks are *actually* rebuilding now, he will have plenty of time to develop. I think guys like Dach and Boqvist were rushed to the NHL too quickly and, that messed with their development/confidence.
Seems about 1yr and 500k too much to me, but its not my money. I’m sure Wilf has a better take on it than me tho.
More poor decision making by Montreal management. I love It. Lol.
I dont know i look at the leafs handing out 4 forwards half the cap and never winning a playoff series in the 18 years and think………………….why did we give these prima donnas big contracts when they totally fall off the map when the games count
Habs trade drouin 50% retained to NYR for ryan reaves and RD lundkvist. Reaves makes the money work and protects roomies, rangers get a 50 point guy and a french giy to pair with lafrenire. Thoughts?
It was a bad thought the first time you suggested it and it hasn’t improved. The Rangers want cheap centre depth, if anything Jake Evans would be a better target. 1.7 million for 3 more years.
Big money for a 3rd or 4th line winger.
Im a habs fan so biased but if druion is 2.7 per year or something and can score 50 points isnt that wat the rangers would trade for for a playoff run. Maybe there are mid to late round picks involved but it seems like a good frame work. What else would u guys suggest, evans was 1 anything else?
wu tang killa beez
Like all the contracts Bergevin was handing out
Drouin was bad when they traded for him and bad when they signed him but was in deep anyway
Habs did not trade for Dach to play wing. He will be given every opportunity to be the number 2 C behind Suzuki…
I agree, ive seen articles saying he will play wing tho. They have suzuki, dach, monahon and dvorak tho for top 9 centers. Im sure the plan is to trade dvorak eventually so he wont play wing or go to the 4th line. Monahan is supposed to be a great face off guy but his hip are in rough shape, i wonder if dach and monahan play on the same line and depending on if they shoot different either take strong side draws or let monahan take dzone. Regardless i believe monahan is out to start the year so play will dictate what happens. Monahan should play center for sure to maximize the trade return for him unless he is pure shit
That contract will be a steal for dach very quickly average point totals for a player making 3.2-3.6 million is only 36 points