Insider thinks Cole Caufield could be holding out for more money

Published May 11, 2023 at 1:13 PM
The biggest thing on Kent Hughes' to-do-list this summer is to re-sign star forward Cole Caufield, but contract talks seem nonexistent and there isn't a whole lot going on in terms of getting the young sniper locked up.

During an appearance on TSN 690 radio, insider Darren Dreger hinted that Caufield could be holding out for a big payday and mentioned that Tim Stutzle's contract (8 years x $8.35 million AAV) with the Senators could be a comparable for what the 22-year-old will get from the Canadiens.

"There's a deep investment that the Montreal Canadiens are willing and happy to make in Cole Caufield, that goes without saying. But there's a negotiation, a dance. We talked about it on the show before, I look at Tim Stutzle's deal in Ottawa and that's probably the deal that they're looking at for Caufield. Is that too much for the Montreal Canadiens?" Dreger said.

He went on to add, "That's probably where you're probably at with that back-and-forth and how much willingness there is on the player's side of things to take less than he feels he's earned to this point."

"Here's one thing that, as cliché as it sounds, goals always matter the most, right? I mean, you can look at playmakers, you can look at guys who put up the points and consistently are generating offense, and there's a high-level of importance in that, of course there is. But the person that finishes, the goal scorer and the numbers that go up with that, there's always a premium that's put on the goal scorer above everything else."

Caufield was having a terrific season and a lone bright spot on the Canadiens' roster up until he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery back in January. The Stevens Point (Wisconsin) native was on pace to hit the 40-goal mark for the first time in his young career and despite his injury and missing the last 12 weeks of the season, he still finished tied for most goals on Montreal's roster with captain Nick Suzuki.

In 46 games, Caufield had 36 points (26 goals, ten assists), two penalty minutes and was a minus-ten.

Montreal hasn't had a goal scorer with this much potential in a long, long time. Not to discredit Max Pacioretty, but Caufield has the potential to become a consistent 40-goal scorer in the NHL and there's no doubt that he could hit the 50-goal mark too.

While some may view it as asking for too much money, with the expectation that the salary cap will go up significantly in the coming years, giving Caufield $8.5 million per season is fair market value.

May 11   |   838 answers
Insider thinks Cole Caufield could be holding out for more money

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