Free agency status: Zednik and Theodore
A source close to the Canadiens has disclosed some information regarding the contract negotiations of Richard Zednik and José Theodore.Despite Theodore’s prolonged holdout, the source said that the goaltender has never considered not signing with the club. Theo and his agent, Don Meehan, are simply using time as a bargaining power in order to squeeze as much money from the Canadiens as possible. There is no question as to whether Theodore will play for Montreal this upcoming season, it is just a matter of when he will sign.
The Habs are hoping Theo will sign before the start of training camp. Last time the Hart- and Vezina-winning goaltender held out for a new contract, it affected his play significantly, and the Canadiens can’t afford to have him lose his value to the team. It was Theodore’s outstanding – and at times above-human – goaltending that kept the Canadiens alive during the regular season, and that guided them into the playoffs and past the Bruins.
As for Zednik, the chances of the winger signing with the team appear to be unlikely. Apparently, the Canadiens and Zednik are at odds for a large sum of money, and since, unlike Theodore, Zednik has no ties to the city of Montreal, he will likely hold out until he is either offered what he wants, or is traded.
The Canadiens might suffer from the loss of Zednik, who was their second-leading scorer last year with 22 goals and 22 assists for 44 points. He was also one of only 3 Canadiens to play in all 82 games. However, the team has already prepared a way to fill Zednik’s void, in the form of Mariusz Czerkawski. As well, Randy McKay might see more playing time if Zed leaves the Habs. Montreal knows that while the loss of Zednik may not be so painful, the loss of Theodore would be deathly.
GO HABS GO.