While the trade itself left some hockey fans scratching their heads, this contract does not. Domi, scheduled to be an RFA on July 1, is coming off a down year scoring-wise, and still has plenty to prove when it comes to what kind of player he can be in this league.
This kind of deal is smart strategy for both sides in this case. Domi now has two seasons to prove his worth following a nine-goal performance with the Coyotes, and the Canadiens have club control over him for another two years following the expiration of this contract.
Several other players have converted very similar show-me deals into lucrative contracts — we recently saw players like Minnesota’s Mikael Granlund, Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau and yes, even Galchenyuk do just this.
Here’s a look at a few other forwards currently playing on similar show-me deals like Domi’s:
If Domi’s deal looks familiar to Habs fans, here’s why. It’s actually fairly similar to the bridge deal Bergevin signed a 21-year-old Galchenyuk to back in July 2015, after which he upgraded himself to a three-year, $14.7-million deal last off-season.
Both skaters have the versatily of playing both wing and centre, though Galchenyuk is the player most likely to suit up at centre for his new club while Domi’s boss is content to place him on his usual wing.
Of course, neither player has been able to reach his respective potential. Maybe that changes now.
Drafted 11 spots after Domi, Burakovsky has seen similar production to his fellow 2013 draft classman — of course, Burakovsky’s got little more hardware to show for it. Both players ply their trade on the left wing, with Burakovsky breaking into the NHL a year before Domi, whose entry-level deal slid in both 2013-14 and 2014-15. Burakovsky’s got one year left on his deal before he’s due for a new one, so we’ll be curious to see what the 23-year-old signs — and what it may mean for Domi, should he post similar numbers once again.
Teravainen, 23, is making good on the show-me deal he signed a year ago, posting 23 goals and 41 assists for 64 points in a full 82-game slate in 2017-18. Those numbers — triple Domi’s goal total in 2017-18 — show a big jump compared to prior seasons, which means good things for his wallet if he can build on that this upcoming season.
Like Domi, Teravainen has shown the ability to dabble in different positions up front and also has the added motivation that comes with being traded by the team that drafted you — and the fresh start that accompanies a change of scenery.
These two wingers have more in common than just having their names floated out in potential trade rumours. While Domi’s had the big expectations of being a first-round pick, Sheary’s success fits more in the “pleasant surprise” category as an undrafted free agent proving his worth while on the second contract of his NHL career. Though older than Domi, the 26-year-old Sheary has played fewer NHL games while proving to be more of a goal-scorer compared to Domi’s playmaking tendencies.