Earlier in the week, we discussed the impact of Alexander Radulov and explored the financial situation going forward, and asked the community to vote on whether they thought that the Montreal Canadiens should re-sign their key off-season free agent, and what a potential offer should look like.
More than 2,200 people responded, and were overwhelmingly in favour of bringing Radulov back.
Sixty-three percent of respondents voted that they would want to re-sign Radulov, but it would all come down to the terms of the contract; not surprising given the fiscally responsible nature of the Canadiens, and of the fans as well, who hold high-salaried players to very strict accountability. Players such as Patrice Brisebois and Scott Gomez were run out of town due to their record salaries in the past.
Another 35.8% of respondents said that cost is no object, and that the Canadiens had to keep Radulov on the team. This is a testament to how critical he has been to the Canadiens’ success so far this season.
What kind of term?
The next issue is what the terms of his contract should be. Currently he is signed to a one-year deal worth $5.75 million, but were respondents willing to go with a longer contract?
A little more that 74% of respondents believe that a three- or four-year contract is ideal for the talented Russian, with 45.65% favouring a three-year deal. That would take Radulov to the age of 33, at which point one last contract would be likely.
Show him the money
The sticking point to any negotiation will probably be salary. Radulov had reportedly been looking for a hefty sum when he was considering a return to the NHL but couldn’t really get what he wanted. What did the respondents believe he is worth?
About one third of respondents would have the Canadiens maintain roughly the same salary commiment as Radulov initially signed for, choosing a $6-million salary. Another third are hoping that he takes a discount on his current deal, most likely in exchange for term.
With some critical contracts coming up for the Canadiens, notably Alex Galchenyuk and Carey Price, the Canadiens will be hard-pressed to offer too much more to Radulov and maintain a balanced squad. It’s possible that the 31% who voted for a salary between $6.5 M and $7.5 M will be correct, leaving the Habs with a bit of clever cap management coming up if they convince Radulov to stay on.
The final answer
Overall, a consensus was reached in terms of what the contract value should be.
Although the spread of opinion is evident in the chart above, the highest-ranking combination of contract duration and value (16.4%) was a three-year, $6-million average-annual-value (AAV) contract, followed by a four-year $6-million AAV contract at 10.0% of voter response.
Contributing to success
As for how critical Alex Radulov is to the success of the Canadiens as they try to build a Stanley Cup champion, it is pretty obvious that respondents find him hard to replace.
After being brought into the team as a surprise addition in the off-season, our community believes that Alexander Radulov has become an intergral part of the franchise, and would like to see him in a Canadiens jersey for at least the next few seasons.
Thanks for voting and taking part!