A $64 million contract has just been proposed for Juraj Slafkovsky

Elias Edmonson
May 25, 2024  (3:18 PM)

Photo of Juraj Slafkovsky
Photo credit: The Hockey Writers

Next July 1st, Kent Hughes could make a significant move and secure the services of young Juraj Slafkovsky for several years.

With one active year remaining on his entry-level NHL contract, the young player can sign a contract extension on this date.
If the opportunity arises, it is also very possible that both parties will wait a few more months before finalizing this deal. This is what happened with Cole Caufield during the 2022-2023 season, as the lucrative agreement was concluded not in the summer of 2022 but on June 5, 2023.

A $64 million contract for Juraj Slafkovsky with Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton?

However, the colorful Tony Marinaro thinks it could happen sooner rather than later. During a recent appearance on the JiC show on TVA Sports, he even stated he was ready to give the young Slovak an 8-year deal at $8M per season.
«- What could it look like? – Jean-Charles Lajoie
- Eight years, eight million. Why not? – Tony Marinaro»

That was all it took for Jean-Charles Lajoie to be outraged by his guest's response. According to the host, it is impossible to offer more than what Captain Nick Suzuki earns. Kent Hughes has established a salary structure, and destroying it with the first newcomer would be catastrophic.
«You established your salary structure with him for your offensive roster, and you're going to break it with the first newcomer?!» - Jean-Charles Lajoie

«Yes, you are going to do it because we gave that contract to the captain three years ago. Does that mean that for the next four, six, or seven years, no one can earn more than him?» - Tony Marinaro

Lajoie thinks Slaf will get a bridge contract of 3 years and $15M (in total) to later break the bank.
In my opinion, both are not analyzing the situation from the right angle. With inflation and the rising salary cap, another statistic should be used as a comparison, not just pure salary. One must see what percentage of the salary cap the contract takes at the time of its signing.
At the time of his signing, Nick Suzuki's $7.875M per season took up 9.66% of the Canadiens' salary cap.
If we calculate with an $8M contract, for example, for Slafkovsky signed in the summer of 2024, it would be 9.12% of the Canadiens' cap during the 2024-2025 season ($87.7M). The captain would still be, proportionally, the highest-paid player on the team.
However, this does not change the debate about whether it is too early to give such a contract to the 1st overall pick of the 2022 draft.
It is highly likely that the management will take their time and evaluate their young player a bit more next season before concluding a deal. This is what they did not only with Caufield but also with Samuel Montembeault last season.
MAY 25   |   777 ANSWERS
A $64 million contract has just been proposed for Juraj Slafkovsky

Would you give Juraj Slafkovsky an 8-year/$8M contract this summer?

Yes38149 %
No, 2-year bridge deal first39651 %
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