Could history repeat itself with the Canadiens and a top young player?

The Montreal Canadiens find themselves in an interesting spot with one of their top young restricted free agents. After losing Jesperi Kotkaniemi last offseason to the Carolina Hurricanes, history could repeat itself for the Montreal Canadiens unless they work to re-sign Kirby Dach quickly.

The Montreal Canadiens roster is almost ready for the 2022-23 season. They have all of their players signed except for one RFA. The only issue is they have no cap space to get a deal done to sign their loan RFA, Kirby Dach.

Dach was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on draft day for a big haul. The Chicago Blackhawks received the number 13 overall pick in the 2022 NHL draft and a third-round pick that same year. The Hawks were able to bring in some assets and move on from a prospect that needed a fresh start, while the Habs were able to add a young player who could turn into a star.

Dach was drafted third overall in 2019, a position the Habs are familiar with as they drafted Jesperi Kotkaniemi third overall in 2018. The only issue is the Canadiens lost Kotkaniemi to the Carolina Hurricanes when the Canes offer-sheeted the restricted free agent last summer.

Seeing Kotkaniemi go because of an offer sheet was an unexpected move last summer, and unless the Canadiens re-sign Dach quickly, history could repeat itself.

The Canadiens do not have a lot of cap space and a team could take advantage of that. If some team offered Dach a one-year deal worth 3.5 or 4 million dollars for one season they would add a former third overall pick to their lineup and only have to give the Canadiens a second-round pick in return. 

I know the odds of that happening might not be too high, but I do not think many expected it last offseason from the Hurricanes. The Canadiens are either going to make a deal to trade some cap space or work to put someone on LTIR once the season begins, then they would have the room to sign Dach. However, if some team decides Dach could be a valuable addition and they have the cap space to offer him a one-year deal, then why not do that?

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