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Phillip Danault leaves Canadiens for multi-year deal with Kings

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One of the key players for the Montreal Canadiens in their run to the Stanley Cup Final is off to Hollywood.

Phillip Danault has signed a six-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings worth a reported $33 million. His $5.5 million annual salary is a slight increase on the long-term contract extension tabled to him before the season from Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin.

It seems appropriate that Danault's gamble paid off in the form of $3 million over the lifetime of the contract. His shutdown performance in the postseason — which included neutralizing Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Mark Stone — turned the heads of many in the hockey world.

Danault will slot in between Anze Kopitar and Quinton Byfield on the depth chart for a Kings team which is loaded with prospects and turning over from a previous era. It seems likely that he'll form a partnership with newly-acquired forward Viktor Arvidsson.

Phillip Danault and Anze Kopitar will make an elite shutdown tandem down the middle for the Kings. (Photo by Florence Labelle/NHLI via Getty Images)
Phillip Danault and Anze Kopitar will make an elite shutdown tandem down the middle for the Kings. (Photo by Florence Labelle/NHLI via Getty Images)

An unconventional top center in Montreal, Danault was limited to just five goals and 24 points in 53 games last season. He had just one goal in 22 postseason games, but was arguably the team's most valuable player, save for Carey Price.

The Kings have also signed Alexander Edler to a two-year contract worth $7 million, while also extending forwards Andreas Athanasiou and Trevor Moore.

Meanwhile, Montreal has now lost two key pieces from their recent run of success. Danault is leaving on his own volition, while it's not expected that Shea Weber will return next season, if ever, based on injuries. 

The club has filled the Weber void with a four-year contract with David Savard.

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