Category Archives: Montreal Canadiens
— Patrick Caisse (@PatrickCaisse) January 17, 2013
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) January 15, 2013
Things can change on a dime, but told things aren’t close on the Subban contract front
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) January 13, 2013
The Scott Gomez era in Montreal appears to be at an end.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the Canadiens have told Gomez he will not be a part of the team this season. Montreal will continue to pay Gomez for the season and his contract will count against the team’s salary cap.
Gomez’s salary for 2012-13 is $5.5 million but carries cap hit of $7.357 million (based on an 82-game schedule).
Will this be Erik Cole’s last season in the NHL?
Pat Hickey reports that Cole, speaking to the media Friday in Brossard, said family considerations and unhappiness over the new collective bargaining agreement will force him to review his situation at the end of the season.
“I enjoyed my time at home and the kids are in school here until the end of June and we’ll reevaluate things after that,” said Cole, who first raised the prospect of early retirement in October.
Before a deal can get done, the first agreement is yourself and your agent have to agree on the same things and I think we clarified everything (Monday). We know where we both stand,” said Subban, who is represented by Don Meehan of Newport Sports. “Now it’s his job to go and relay that Montreal and take it from there.
“We had a long summer to try and get things done and it didn’t happen so as far as I’m concerned, it’s out of my control. I can’t offer myself a contract. At this point now, I’m just waiting and making sure I keep myself in shape so that once I get to training camp, I’m ready to go. I’ve made it clear I want to play there and play there for a long time. My interest is nowhere but in Montreal. That’s never, ever changed and it’s never been a question. If anybody says anything different, they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
The Philadelphia Flyers have reportedly asked the Montreal Canadiens about the availability of restricted free agent defenceman P.K. Subban.
The Flyers are interested in adding Subban, who has been unable to come to terms on a new contract with the Canadiens. Philly will probably start the season with three blueliners — Chris Pronger, Andrej Meszaros and Andreas Lilja — out with injuries.
Sportsnet reported earlier this week that he was close to signing a three-year, $12 million deal but so far that hasn’t happened. Last month, TSN said Subban had rejected a two-year, $5.5 million offer.
Per #MTL Canadiens player,they expect ruling by Quebec Labor Board this week on teams ability to lockout.If court rules in their favor,and
— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) September 10, 2012
A handful of hefty issues weighed on Marc Bergevin when he was named general manager of the Montreal Canadiens in early May.
Now that he’s hired a head coach, Michel Therrien, locked up star goaltender Carey Price to a six-year deal, drafted highly touted forward Alex Galchenyuk and signed some gritty free agents, one more big question looms.
Will Bergevin buyout Scott Gomez, the club’s overpaid 32-year-old centre?
According to a report from Arpon Brasu, managing editor of LNH.com (NHL.com’s French site), who spoke with Bergevin on Monday, the answer is no.
Gomez, who is slated to rake in $5.5 million in 2012-13 and $4.5 million in 2013-14, had a buyout date of June 15. His buyout ratio would be set at 2/3 and his total buyout cost would be $6.67 million spread over four years, according to CapGeek.com.
The Alaska native became an NHL punch line in 2011-12 due to his lack of offensive production; he did not score his first goal of the season until Feb. 9.
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P.A. DONE IN NY?
Parise not tipping hand as free agency nears
The question might not be whom to select in Friday’s NHL draft, but this: To trade or not to trade?
The combination of a relatively even distribution of talent among the first-round prospects, certain needs for teams selecting at the front end and a new collective-bargaining agreement looming has the potential for some big deals this week and into the weekend, when all 30 general managers will be in Pittsburgh, ostensibly to make their teams deeper through the draft.
Oilers GM Steve Tambellini said this past week he has no plans to trade the No. 1 overall pick, but he listened to offers, a new development from the past two seasons, when Edmonton did not hesitate to make Taylor Hall and then Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the top selections of 2010 and 2011.
Edmonton — like several teams, including the Islanders — has a crying need for help on defense.
So it might be more of a difference-making forward who gets dealt this week. Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash heads the list, having nearly been dealt at the trade deadline, although he still has a no-trade clause to determine where he’ll go.
The Rangers could be the biggest movers this week. Nash, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks, and defensemen Shea Weber of the Predators and Tobias Enstrom of the Jets could be targets, with the Rangers using their No. 28 pick and/or some of their deep prospect pool to swing a deal.
Under GM Garth Snow, the Islanders have refused to deal picks and/or young players for established NHLers. This year is no different, although Snow is trying hard to land a defenseman to shore up a thin mix. Only Mark Streit, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald will be back from the team’s regular 2011-12 defense corps.
A restricted free agent such as the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban would have gotten Snow to strongly consider dealing the fourth overall pick, but new Montreal GM Marc Bergevin isn’t moving Subban, according to those who’ve spoken with him.
As an unrestricted free agent come July 1, would Kovalev seriously consider a return to the NHL? And if so, would he have a jersey preference?
“Hopefully, I’ll find an NHL team,” he said. “The preference is always going to be a team I’ve played on (Canadiens, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators) because you know the environment.
“And I’d definitely like to come back to Montreal. They’re all about the young guys, but I can help in all different ways. And I can still play. I have a lot of energy.
“I always think about having left Montreal,” he said of signing a two-year, $10-million UFA contract with Ottawa in July 2009, having played four-plus seasons with the Canadiens.
“You make a mistake in life and you learn from it. I would make a different move if I could have that back.”
That summer, depending on your source, Kovalev agent Scott Greenspun failed to contact the Canadiens before then-GM Bob Gainey began his dramatic rebuilding, or Gainey was so vague about deadlines for the two sides to speak that a phone never rang before he moved.
A free-agent flood poured into Montreal and Kovalev soon was washed down the highway towards Ottawa, leaving a big piece of his heart in Montreal.
Kovy lifted you out of your seat with excitement some nights – ask those who held a spirited rally outside the Bell Centre before he signed with the Senators – and sent you home maddeningly frustrated by his ghostly apparition on others.
But he was never, ever dull, something that’s not changed in the two years he’s been gone. And Kovalev still gets a kick out of being recognized in Montreal, toying with those who think they’ve spotted him as they trail him down the street, their calls to him ignored – just for awhile.
With the draft coming up a week from Friday, there’s a lively debate over whether the Canadiens should try to move up – or down – from their No. 3 position.
Given the talent available this year, No. 3 appears to be a good spot. While there are a handful of players with the potential to be useful NHL players, there’s no Sidney Crosby, no Evgeni Malkin. Nail Yakupov has emerged as the consensus No. 1 prospect, but there’s a case to be made that defenceman Ryan Murray is closer to play in the NHL or that Alexander Galchenyuk would have been No. 1 if he hadn’t been injured.
Because there is little to choose from among the top five prospects, there seems little reason to contemplate giving up an asset to move up.
There might be more of an argument to be made for trading the pick or moving down. But the only way that makes sense is if the Canadiens get an established NHL player in return.
There is some precedent for this route, but it falls into the you-should-learn-from-your-mistakes category.
In 2008, the Canadiens might have had a shot at John Carlson, Tyler Ennis or Justin Schultz, but they traded their first-round puck to Calgary for Alex Tanguay. He was so underwhelming as a Canadien that general manager Bob Gainey let him go after one season.
No matter which way the Canadiens go, the one thing they shouldn’t do is trade defenceman P.K. Subban. I’m sure this idea isn’t being thrown around when Marc Bergevin assembles his braintrust, but the idea seems to have some traction on fan websites and there are a few folks in the media who feel this would be a better team without Subban.