Canadiens Contractual Obligations: Brett Kulak

There was plenty good reason to wait with this piece of the series.  There was a strong sense that Brett Kulak would land himself a new deal to remain in Montreal and it follows the same trend that the rest seem to be in that they could have paid him more and justified doing so but he took something of a team friendly deal.  The likelihood that he would have found three years worth of term elsewhere was a little better than 50/50 but the likelihood that he sees the entirety of this deal with the Canadiens is considerably strong.


The need for projections for his deal are no more with the numbers being out in plain sight: $1,850,000 for 3 years worth of Brett Kulak is a winner from all angles.  He finds himself in comparable company with other quality depth defencemen that signed their current deals under RFA status such as Jamie Oleksiak, Steven Santini, Jake McCabe, Ian Cole and Jon Merrill.


The book on Brett Kulak is pretty simple: the hope for a depth defenceman is that he will generate something –certainly– but at the very least give the opposition little to nothing to look at in terms of shots or quality chances coming back the other way.  What sets Brett Kulak apart and makes him just the type of player that fills this hope perfectly is that he does so well enough that when the Montreal Canadiens needed someone to play a bit above their head in that glaring hole on the left side of the defensive alignment, he was the guy that slotted up beside Jeff Petry and proved himself to be the best option for the job.  Yes, Brett is best suited to being the alpha option for that third pairing spot but knowing that he can justifiably play up in the lineup should the Canadiens find themselves in a bad spot again for whatever reason, it makes this kind of deal the perfect insurance policy.


No, the Habs should not try to stretch him as a fringe second pair guy for most or all of next season and the need for someone that fits such a placement is still present but among the logjam of options at the bottom of the order, Brett Kulak is the clear cut superior option to his cohorts and the concern of him living up to the numbers presented in this deal is completely absent.  Not often could this be said of a guy best suited for the bottom end of the order over any sustainable period of time but Brett Kulak is certainly part of the solution for the next three years in Montreal and creates a sizable hurdle for anyone hoping to take that spot from him in the lineup.


With this deal all taken care of and having already covered Artturi LehkonenCharles Hudon, Joel Armia and Mike Reilly, this leaves just one more player to be covered… check back soon for the final part and conclusion of this series.

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