Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Montreal Canadiens Rumors Round-up

Now that the Stanley Cup final is over and that the Los Angeles Kings have been crowned, it is time to turn our attention to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft that is now only ten days away and to Julys 1st, which marks the beginning of free agency.

For those Habs fans who missed it, Montreal traded their former 1st round pick Louis Leblanc to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional 5th round pick on Saturday. Leblanc, who was an impending UFA, struggled again in the AHL this season, potting only 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points in 70 contests under the "tutelage" of Sylvain Lefebvre. The organization should have allowed Leblanc to finish his degree at Harvard instead of asking him to play in QMJHL for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. As NBC analyst Pierre McGuire said on TSN 690: "Pulling Louis Leblanc out of Harvard after one year was ridiculous."

Douglas Murray's agent, Anton Thun, confirmed to Richard Labbé of La Presse what we all knew: Crankshaft will not be back with the organization next season after playing only 53 games this season. He recorded two points and posted a mediocre -12 plus/minus differential. Murray participated in only three games during the playoffs. The 34-year-old defenseman was only efficient on the penalty kill this season, being a liability at even strength. It might be the end of Murray's career...

According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports and JT Utah of 25Stanley.com, the Canadiens are close to announce a contract extension with RFA Dale Weise, a pact that would pay him $2M over the next two years ($1 million AAV). Weise was acquired mid-season from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Raphael Diaz, who ended up playing in the Stanley Cup final with the New York Rangers. After scoring six goals and ten assists for 16 points in 61 regular season games, the 25-year-old Weise scored three goals and added four assists for seven points in 16 games on the Habs' run to the Eastern Conference final. Weise brought speed, size and energy to the Canadiens' fourth line and is already a fan favorite. (UPDATE: the deal is now official.)

According to TSN Bob McKenzie, Andrei Markov's agent, Sergei Berezin, is seeking a three-year contract worth $18 million for his client.
Coming off a solid season during which he recorded 7 goals and 36 assists for 43 points in 81 games, the 35-year-old veteran who played his entire career in Montreal is looking for his last big pay-day in the NHL. While the Russian General mentioned that he wants to end his career with the Bleu Blanc Rouge, his demands might prove to be too much for Marc Bergevin and he might elect to let him walk on July 1st. Markov earned $5.75 million a year after signing a three-year pact worth $17.25 million prior to the 2011-12 season.

As for shot-blocking specialist, Mike Weaver, it has been reported that their is a mutual interest in brining back the right-handed defenseman who proved to be the steal of the trade deadline, acquired for a 5th round pick from the Florida Panthers. Weaver was a force to reckon with on the penalty kill and a shot-blocking machine throughout the series. He would make for a cheap veteran presence on the third pairing and he could mentor youngsters Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi. Weaver earned $1.1 million last season and will be looking to sign a two-year deal in the same salary range.

Finally, the Canadiens have yet to start negotiating with all-star defenseman P.K. Subban, which is expected to break the bank after signing a two-year bridge contract worth $5.75 million before the 2012-13 season. Subban, who recorded 10 goals and 43 assists for 53 points in 82 games, will more than likely earn at least $8 million annually over eight years (the maximum number of years allowed under the last CBA).

Which players should the Habs re-sign or let go?


Well I'll bite first. I am upset tthe Habs went as far as they did this year because I would like to see an influx of youth and in key positions.

To me this means Galchenyuk and Eller as your 1-2 punch, a defensive minded 3rd line center. I also want to see Tinordi and Beaulieu and possibly Pateryn in the line-up.

Furthermore I would like to see Plekanec and Desharnais dealt for missing pieces of this puzzle. I don't want t see Gio back and am on the fence with markov.

If you trade Plekanec and Desharnais, you can bet you don't make the playoffs Bryan... Bad decision.

Well if you trade Plekanec, Desharnais, and don't sign Vanek, Markov then let's be honest here, we have a shit load of cap space. There is no telling who MB would bring in or what out top 4 d and top 6 forwards would look like.

But with that said, I was being facetious and was expecting more of a backlash.

In truth I would keep DD and deal Plekanec. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy. I like his overall game is so badly under appreciated but with that said, I think Eller needs to be groomed into that roll and Galchenyuk intro a center.

I would put Pleks on the trade block because of his value and try to build with some bigger bodies around those kids.

Look at Nick Lidstroms contracts from 35 yrs. old on. The Canadiens/ Markov should pursue a similar strategy term wise. We keep Markov and limit the negative exposure to the team. Win/ Win!

The Habs must get rid of Desharnais, and Briere, and keep Pleks. Pleks is way too valuable, you cant just integrate 2 young centers right into the 1-2 role, you'll get burnt every night in the face-off circle. You need a leader like Plekanec in the circle. I wouldn't sign Subban for over 8 million unfortunately... Thats a ridiculous price, the kid is way too greedy. Look at Keith's salary, Pietrangelo, and Doughty... These are all guys that you can somewhat compare Subban to. All the players mentioned are better then Subban, and get paid less than what he's asking for. If someone signs him to an offer sheet, you let him go because anything over 8million a year will get you that teams 4 first round picks.

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