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In Hainsight: A Good Signing

June 3, 2023, 1:14 PM ET [326 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Follow me @KarineHains for all updates about the Montreal Canadiens and women's hockey

Montreal announced a contract signing yesterday, but not the one fans are eagerly waiting for. Kent Hughes decided to warm-up by signing Michael Pezzetta to a two-year one-way contract with an average annual value of $812,500. Some were not happy about the deal, pointing out that Pezzetta doesn’t produce much offensively, but the fact is, hockey is not just about production.

What Pezzetta lacks in offensive skills, he makes up for in grit and dedication to his teammates and the logo. A team can have all the talent in the world and not manage to win if it lacks a few heart and soul players and that’s exactly what Pezzetta is. He’s the guy who’ll always do as he’s asked and won’t ever complain about his role. He’s also the one who’ll step up to protect his teammates, no questions asked.

To those who complain that he’ll be taking up the spot of a young player with more talent, rest assured, Pezzetta is signed for fourth line duty, that’s not where you want your talented youngsters to play. If a player is labelled top-9 in the NHL, he won’t be in the right seat if you stick him on the bottom line and it won’t be a good situation for anybody. Furthermore, Pezzetta is said to be a very positive influence in the room and a great teammate.

The fact that the contract is a one-way deal doesn’t guarantee a spot in Montreal for Pezzetta, it only means that he’ll earn the same money whether he plays in Montreal or in Laval. Just like this last season, he’ll have to fight for his place in the line-up and he’s aware of that judging by his comments in yesterday’s media availability.

Pezzetta mentioned that he really hit his stride in the second part of the season last year when the numerous injuries guaranteed that he was regularly used, the fact that he knew he was going to play made it easier for him to prepare and be ready for every game. This year, he intends to work on his game to become a regular on the penalty kill, he sees it as a way to play more minutes and have a bigger role on the team.

Meanwhile, Sick Podcast host Tony Marinaro reported that according to his sources, progress has been made in the Caufield negotiation and that the Canadiens would be signing the winger to a 7 or 8-year deal, he even added that his salary would come in just a bit under Nick Suzuki’s. We’ll have to wait and see if this materializes, but if it does, it would be wonderful news for the Habs. To those who say that Caufield has yet to prove he can produce on a regular basis in the NHL I say that had it not been for his untimely shoulder injury he would have done so this year and the team is obviously confident that he can replicate and improve his production long-term.

If he does sign just under Suzuki’s $7,875,000 cap hit, the Canadiens would be able to stick to a healthy salary cap structure where nobody truly breaks the bank and in which you can have a real team, not just a few big guns surrounded by plugs who are paid peanuts. Should Marinaro’s sources be correct, this would be a grand slam for GM Kent Hughes.

At the Memorial Cup, Owen Beck and the Petes lost in the semifinal against Jared Davidson and the Seattle Thunderbirds last night meaning that Seattle will be taking on the Remparts in the final Sunday night. Even though the Petes lost, Beck showed a few good flashes in the game while Davidson was in top form taking 8 shots on goal and getting 2 assists for his trouble. In 4 games played, he’s got a goal, five assists for 6 points.

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