Despite the emergence of Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi during the postseason, Philip Danault still thinks he belongs in the first center slot for the Montreal Canadiens.
It is clear at this point that the future of the team lies with both youngsters, however, Danault admitted in a postseason interview that he wouldn’t settle for a third line role to suit the team’s needs.
He had this to say when questioned if he would settle for a diminished role: “I don’t know if I’m ready for that. I love producing offensively. I really loved my role these past years. I don’t know if I want to limit myself to a strictly defensive role.”
Throughout the playoffs, the centerman saw his playing time decrease significantly. He lost his place on the power play and started getting a significantly defensive role. It was clear for everyone watching that he’d been surpassed by both Suzuki and Kotkaniemi.
At the end of the 2020-21 season Danault will become an unrestricted free agent. He admitted, during the same interview as previously mentioned, that his role with the team will influence his decision to re-sign with the team.
He had this to say about the situation: “ It’s pretty far, but of course, everyone knows I love playing in Montreal. However, hockey is a big business and I don’t control much.”
It’s safe to say that Danault will receive a lot of attention come free agency considering he’s one of the best two way players in the game. One has to wonder if he would be able to find a team where he could act as a top six centerman.
Picture source : LaPresse
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