"Right now there’s no negotiations," Danault said Tuesday, according to The Athletic's Arpon Basu. "So we’re at square one."
Danault, who's set to make $3.1 million next season, registered 13 goals and 47 points in 71 games during the shortened 2019-20 campaign. He was on pace to set career highs in both of those departments over 82 contests, and the 27-year-old finished sixth in Selke Trophy voting.
The Quebec native tallied just one goal in 10 playoff games while being asked to play a larger defensive role. Danault voiced his frustration with the change following the team's elimination, but he clarified those comments on Tuesday.
"I never said I want to be the first-line center and be, like, the man every game," he said, according to Basu. "The way I view things is the day I will be set on a defensive role, full time, that day will be like I want to stop getting better every year.
"... I want to get better offensively, defensively, I want to do both. I don’t want to be sitting in one chair."
With youngsters Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi slowly moving toward full-time roles at center, Danault understands he may slip down the depth chart. He hopes to offer guidance through his experience.
"I’ll kind of be a mentor for the kids, I’ll show them some tricks, I want us to help each other a lot," he said.
Danault has spent the past five seasons with Montreal. He ranks third on the club in scoring over that span after recording 170 points through 307 regular-season outings.