It would have been awful news had he said he wasn’t interested, but the Montreal Canadiens have acquired a player in Josh Anderson who is open to a long-term deal with the team. The question now is, what will it cost to retain the restricted free agent?
After acquiring Anderson on Tuesday for a third-round pick and Max Domi, the Canadiens added some much-needed size and grit to their forward group as well as better distributed the deployment of their forwards by moving a center for a winger. However, they paid a hefty price to acquire Anderson. It was a deal some are calling an overpayment on the Canadiens part.
GM Marc Bergevin really would have been left with egg on his face if it was learned Anderson had no desire to play for the Canadiens, but that’s not the case according to a report from Arpon Basu on Wednesday morning. Basu quotes Anderson who said after the deal, “If a long-term contract is available in Montreal I would be more than happy to work with them on that.”
But, it doesn’t sound like an extension is going to come cheap.
While an RFA with arbitration rights, Basu adds that Anderson appreciates how unique he is as a player in the NHL, and because there aren’t a lot of forwards like him, the hint is that he’s looking for a pretty good payday. Anderson noted he’s excited to join the Canadiens and “would like to stay if numbers work.”
How Much Is Montreal Willing to Invest?
Anderson is coming off a contract that paid $1.85 million and he’s an RFA who is expecting a hefty bump in salary. The issue might be for the Canadiens whether or not to sign him to a high-priced long-term deal knowing his injury history from last season or to sign a bridge-deal and see how he performs.
The concern with a bridge deal would be risking him only want to sign up to the point he becomes a UFA and then he could possibly leave for nothing at the end of that deal.
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