Report: Danault likely to move on from Canadiens

Florence Labelle / National Hockey League / Getty

Phillip Danault appears to be on the verge of leaving the Montreal Canadiens.

It's highly unlikely the pending unrestricted free agent returns to the team, reports Sportsnet's Eric Engels.

Danault is one of the NHL's best defensive forwards. The 28-year-old, who finished sixth in voting for the Selke Trophy this past season, helped the Canadiens make an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Final.

He posted a stellar 57.56 expected goals for percentage while collecting five goals and 19 assists over 53 regular-season games for Montreal. Danault ranked third among the club's forwards in average ice time at 16:52 before leading the group in the playoffs with 18:56.

Danault has played the last five full campaigns with the Canadiens, who acquired him in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks in February 2016. The Quebec-born center played 32 games with the latter squad over his first two seasons prior to the deal. The Blackhawks selected him 26th overall in 2011.

The Canadiens may have significant turnover next season following their improbable run to the championship round. Team captain Shea Weber could reportedly miss 2021-22 due to several injuries, while goaltender Carey Price has reported health concerns of his own and could be selected by the Seattle Kraken in Wednesday's expansion draft.

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Report: Danault likely to move on from Canadiens
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