As has been the case with several offseason trade acquisitions in years past, the Habs have wasted little time getting a deal done with Max Domi, signing him to a two-year, $6.3 million contract.
Domi was acquired late on Friday night in a surprising one-for-one swap with Arizona that saw Alex Galchenyuk head to the desert. The contract saves the Canadiens $1.75 million on the salary cap for each of the next two seasons compared to Galchenyuk’s AAV of $4.9 million.
It’s not surprising that Domi wound up with a bridge deal instead of long-term pacts like Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Drouin signed upon being acquired. While he put up a respectable 45 points in 2017-18, he struggled to score, tallying just nine times for the second straight year. Players with that type of goal production generally don’t get locked up for the long haul.
It remains to be seen if Domi will be able to play down the middle with Montreal as most of his NHL career has been spent on the wing although he did shift back to his natural position for part of last season. As someone who is more of a pure playmaker than a shooter, he’d fit in better at centre but many are hoping that GM Marc Bergevin can bring in someone more proven at that spot instead of hoping for the best with a winger conversion for the second straight year.
With the signing, Montreal is back to just one real restricted free agent of note to re-sign in centre Phillip Danault who is likely in line for a longer-term deal this summer as he has finished up his bridge contract. (Other restricted free agents include Daniel Carr, Jacob de la Rose, Michael McCarron, and Logan Shaw but those are all depth players, not impact ones.)