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A higher-paid forward than Nick Suzuki: that's coming for Juraj Slafkovsky


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David St-Jean
June 14, 2024  (5:08 PM)
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Juraj Slafkovsky and Nick Suzuki
Photo credit: RDS

Nick Suzuki is currently the highest-paid player on the Canadiens, and Kent Hughes is determined to keep it that way, but this could change soon with Juraj Slafkovsky's upcoming contract.

It's a trend in the NHL right now. Dominant young players aren't given bridge contracts; they sign long-term deals right after their entry-level contracts, just like Cole Caufield did.
Juraj Slafkovsky and Kaiden Guhle will be eligible for contract extensions on July 1, as they will have one year left on their entry-level NHL deals.
Hughes has two options: either sign Slafkovsky as soon as possible or present a strong argument that Slaf has only around 50 solid NHL games under his belt.
"The Canadiens would obviously want to keep Slafkovský's contract below Suzuki's AAV, regardless of the cap percentage, and they could make several arguments to achieve this. But the rising cap could complicate this negotiation.

The only thing the Canadiens would have going for them is the small sample size of very productive games Slafkovský has in the NHL, about 50. Suzuki and Caufield had a larger sample size to work with when they signed their contracts." - Arpon Basu

It's clear that Hughes wants to keep Suzuki as the highest-paid player, but at $7.875 million, this will be challenging.
Moreover, as he did with Cole Caufield and Samuel Montembeault, Hughes will likely want to delay the contract signing as long as possible to evaluate Slafkovsky thoroughly, which could backfire if the Slovak continues to perform well.
And honestly, I have a feeling he will continue to improve and have a stellar 2024-25 season.
POLL
14 JUIN   |   373 ANSWERS
A higher-paid forward than Nick Suzuki: that's coming for Juraj Slafkovsky

In your opinion, should Kent Hughes offer an eight-year contract to Juraj Slafkovsky on July 1st, with an annual salary lower than Nick Suzuki's?

Yes30481.5 %
No6918.5 %
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