The Montreal Canadiens made winger Cole Caufield a rich man on Monday with an eight-year extension worth just under $8 million annually. Caufield is just one of a slew of big names who could re-sign as restricted free agents this summer, which begs the question: is the young sniper’s contract a measuring stick or just the beginning for a loaded RFA class? Daily Faceoff Live hosts Tyler Yaremchuk and Mike McKenna discussed during Tuesday’s episode.
Tyler Yaremchuk: Yesterday we saw the big, eight-year extension for Cole Caufield in Montreal. That brings up questions about the other RFAs on the market. When you look at the top-RFA forwards who could be looking for a long-term extension- Zegras, Bratt, Meier- is there anyone who could make more than Caufield? Or will Caufield be the outer marker for these guys?
Mike McKenna: I think Timo Meier is going to be the one to watch. It’s interesting the Devils have two people on this list with Bratt and Meier; could they possibly keep both, or will it turn into an either/or? Jesper Bratt’s had two really strong years in a row. His goal production went up to 32 snipes last year. Is he going to be an $8 million guy? It’s worth asking that. I’m not sure, but it’s going to be close.
Timo Meier had 40 goals last year. The way he plays and his physicality could make him every bit of $8 million AAV. He could make north of $9 million, especially considering he’s got a $10 million qualifying offer. I think Meier is going to be the big ticket.
Even Vince Dunn could make more than Cole Caufield. He’s not on our list, but he’s the top D who’s available. A short-term deal and he’ll make $8 million; with a longer term deal he’s probably underneath that.
Tyler, Bratt is the one I really have my eye on to see what happens here because of that dynamic. If the Devils could keep Bratt and Meier that’d be awesome, but Bratt only has a $5.45 million qualifying offer. There would be a lot of trade interest for him. I’m curious to see what Tom Fitzgerald does.
You can watch the entire episode here…