Max Domi was a low-risk, high-reward trade deadline pickup for the Canes. He arguably only rewarded them in one game, but he picked the right game to do it.
Max Domi 2021-22 By The Numbers
NHL Seasons: 7
Scoring: 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points in 19 games
Playoff scoring: 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points in 14 games
Advanced statistics: 61.70 CF%, 53.44 SCF%, 56.53 xGF%, 75.00 GF%
Average TOI: 10:49 ES, 1:10 PP, 0:01 SH
Contract Status: Pending UFA
Going into the 2022 NHL trade deadline, the thought was that the Carolina Hurricanes, who despite needing some additional scoring were up against the cap, wouldn’t be able to do much. That was correct, but they still found a way to make an intriguing addition.
Through a complex three-way trade that also involved the Florida Panthers, the Hurricanes acquired forward Max Domi from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Domi hadn’t done much for the Columbus in 2021-22, but the talent has always been there and he had a history of higher production, as he was just three years removed from a 72-point season with the Montreal Canadiens in 2018-19. It was a low-risk, potentially high-reward move.
How high that reward ended up being is debatable. If you only looked at the regular season, the Hurricanes didn’t get much from Domi, who mostly played a bottom-six role and only contributed two goals and seven points in 19 games.
Trade deadline moves aren’t typically made with the regular season in mind, however. To start the Canes’ first-round series against Boston, it was more of the same from Domi, who chipped in just two assists in the first six games.
However, with the Canes bogged down in a sluggish performance in game 6, Rod Brind’Amour shuffled his lines and moved Domi up with Vincent Trocheck and Teuvo Teravainen.
He stuck with that line in game 7, and it paid off as Domi delivered a performance for the ages. In the Hurricanes’ 3-2 win over the Bruins on home ice to close out the series, Domi factored in on all three Canes goals, scoring two of them and making a slick feed to Teravainen for a primary assist on the first.
Max Domi have yourself a day!!
— Bally Sports: Canes (@CanesOnBally) May 14, 2022
Domi became the latest example of unlikely heroes stepping up in a game 7, and joined the likes of Scott Walker and Brock McGinn in etching himself in Hurricanes playoff lore forever in helping the team to the next round.
Domi’s performance wouldn’t carry over into the next round, however, as he did not record another point until scoring what was effectively a garbage time goal in the Canes’ blowout loss to the Rangers in game 7, and was more noticeable for his role in the team’s lack of discipline at the end of some of the road losses in that series.
Domi’s story as a Hurricane was an interesting one. They effectively took a flier on him at the deadline, and he didn’t do much for them until he came through with a whale of a performance in what was, at the time, the biggest game of the season. His performance in game 7 against Boston will always be remembered as part of the story, and the first and really only noteworthy chapter of it.
It’s also likely to be a short story. Domi will be a UFA come July, and, though the Canes could try to bring him back for cheap as a bottom-six scorer, given that they are already going to be tight on cap space and need more top-end goal scoring, it makes sense to fill that role with a younger, cheaper, player.
The Canes made a low-risk, high-reward move to bring in Max Domi, and, though they really only saw that reward in one game, it was the right game for it. His time in Raleigh was likely short, but he still managed to make a memory both for himself and Hurricanes fans during it.