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[Speculation] Max Comtois Reportedly Signs With AHL’s Chicago Wolves

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Max Comtois Reportedly Signs With AHL’s Chicago Wolves


October 15th, 2023 at 2:45pm CST • By Ethan Hetu


Former Anaheim Ducks forward Max Comtoishas signed an AHL contract with the Chicago Wolves, according to a report from Inside AHL Hockey’s Tony Androckitis.


If made official, the deal would land Comtois with the AHL’s only independent franchise. The Wolves are exclusively focused on capturing their second Calder Cup championship in three seasons, meaning Comtois is entering a bit of a different team environment compared to other AHL franchises, teams that may place more of a priority on producing NHL players for their big-league affiliates.


As a result, Comtois joins an AHL club stocked with quite a bit of talent up front. Cole Schneider, Rocco Grimaldi, Cory Conacher, and Chris Terry are all in the team’s forward corps and all have extensive experience as quality AHL scorers. The team also has some intriguing younger forwards, such as former high-flying WHL scorer Connor McClennonand 2017 35th overall pick Isaac Ratcliffe.


This will likely mean that although Comtois will face stiff competition for a scoring-line role in Chicago, it also means that Comtois will have some truly high-end players to play with assuming he can seize one of those starring roles.


Comtois, 24, only has 35 games of AHL experience, but has had success at the NHL level before, namely when he scored 16 goals and 33 points in 55 games in 2020-21. Having such experienced AHLers alongside him will likely aid Comtois as he adjusts to life in the AHL.


While Comtois must surely be disappointed to have not earned an NHL deal off the back of his PTO with the Vegas Golden Knights, he’s landing in a strong situation with the Wolves. And for the Wolves, an already talent-filled group of forwards adds one more significant name.



Edited by RWJC
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  • RWJC changed the title to [Speculation] Max Comtois Reportedly Signs With AHL’s Chicago Wolves
8 minutes ago, Miss Korea said:

Does thus deal have an NHL release clause?

Good question - especially as the team is an independent.


Perhaps not?:


After spending the last four seasons with the Anaheim Ducks and this past training camp with the Vegas Golden Knights on a PTO, former top prospect and second round pick Maxime Comtois won't be playing in the NHL this season.



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7 minutes ago, -AJ- said:

Seems wild to be that a 30-point guy who's only 24 couldn't land a contract. Has his play really fallen off that much? If he bad defensively or something?

Another good question. Play has definitely stagnated. Hasnt he also been potentially implicated in Hockey Canada sexual assault case?


Regardless, quite the slide.

From July:


Canadiens Not a Fit for Quebec-Native Max Comtois


July 26, 2023 by Blain Potvin


Whenever a francophone Quebecois player becomes available or is rumoured to be available on the trade or unrestricted free agency (UFA) market, many among the fanbase and media demand that the Montreal Canadiens acquire or sign them. 

After five seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, left winger Maxime Comtois has parted ways with the team that chose not to tender him a qualifying offer. Because of this, the 6-foot-2, 209-pound Longueuil, Quebec native is now a UFA. However, he is not a player that general manager (GM) Kent Hughes needs or should want to add to the roster. 

Comtois Snubbed by Montreal 


The 24-year-old, selected 50th overall by the Ducks in the 2017 NHL Draft, is now looking for a contract. During a charity event, he spoke to French-language TVA Sports about the reason behind his departure.  


“It’s a mutual decision between both parties. I had a good start to my career, but certain things happened (injuries) that ended up putting me and the team on different wavelengths. When I sat down with my agent and family at the end of the season, I realized it was better for me to find a job elsewhere.”

-Max Comtois 


Comtois had a breakout campaign in 2020-21 and led the Ducks in goals (16) and points (33). These aren’t huge numbers, which points to how bad the team was at that time. But as a top-line forward, he produced well enough to lead the team. Unfortunately, Comtois has had a precipitous drop in production and role since then. 


During that same interview, he made it clear he is willing to play with the Habs but admits that Hughes hasn’t called. “The Canadiens haven’t contacted my agent,” Comtois said, “but I have no problem playing in such a demanding market where the pressure is high.”

Canadiens Have No Room 


There are more than a few reasons why he could be a fit with the Canadiens. First, he is local. While many argue that language shouldn’t play a role in player acquisition – and they’re right – it is still a factor in Montreal. Second, he is in the same age range as the team’s core group, who are all 24 and younger. Finally, Comtois is a big-bodied forward who likes to go to the net and could help the team’s power play.  

Additionally, the Canadiens are $3.5 million over the cap, but below the 10% threshold they can overspend over the offseason, and once Carey Price is returned to long-term injured reserve (LTIR), the Habs will have roughly $6.9 million in available cap space. This means that there should be no issues signing a player on a cheap, one-year “show-me” deal to prove themselves without hurting the team’s cap situation.  


As a player known to be competitive and physical, Comtois still can provide offensive skills in a depth role. More importantly, he could become the team’s spark plug by playing a hard forechecking style, finishing his checks, and playing a gritty cycle game, working to extend possession.  


However, he simply is not a good fit for Hughes’ roster. First, Comtois has a problem with consistency and still goes long stretches when he looks out of place in the NHL. Furthermore, the role he would fill, as a gritty spark plug, is already spoken for, and not just by Micheal Pezzetta. Fans may not like to hear this but Joel Armia, Brendan Gallagher and even Rafael Harvey-Pinard are all used in this role to varying degrees of effectiveness. 

Yes, Armia is inconsistent as well, but it’s no secret that management is shopping his two remaining years under contract at $3.4 million per season. Then there’s Gallagher, who is paid $6.5 million for four more years. There is far too much salaryalready allocated to filling that role.  

But the most obvious reason is the sheer number of NHL-capable forwards the Habs already have on their books. Comtois would push several talented prospects down the depth chart, taking away important roles that could help their development. Even putting him on the fourth line would push Harvey-Pinard out and take away an opportunity for the reclamation project Hughes has already signed; a former first-round pick, the 24-year-old Lias Andersson will likely fill the role that Comtois would have been placed in.

Montreal has fifteen forwards signed who played on the club last season, not counting restricted free agent Jesse Ylonen, who has yet to be signed. There is simply no room at the inn for Comtois. His addition would be good PR during a quiet offseason, but it would become a problem almost as soon as training camp began. The risk far outweighs the reward in this situation. 





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I would strongly suspect that he does have an NHL out clause.  On another note, wow, this Chicago team is sure going to make a great measuring stick for all the other AHL teams with hopes of winning the Calder Cup.  That being as long as they actually get to play them, which I guess only some of the Eastern teams will.

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4 minutes ago, Ryan Strome said:

I would absolutely think so. I was only saying that because I don't think any NHL team wants to take a chance on him as they likely know he's implicated in it.

He was given a PTO by ANA, so interested was still there. And we’ve seen some pretty brain dead decisions  by NHL clubs recently regarding players with negative history (BOS, MTL), so the possibility still exists 

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2 hours ago, RWJC said:

He was given a PTO by ANA, so interested was still there. And we’ve seen some pretty brain dead decisions  by NHL clubs recently regarding players with negative history (BOS, MTL), so the possibility still exists 

Actually, it was Vegas who offered the PTO, but yeah.

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