Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Toronto Maple Leafs are still believed to be in pursuit of Montreal Canadiens blueliner Josh Gorges, but his modified no-trade clause may be holding things up.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted the Leafs are still hoping he'll waive his NTC. If that would occur, McKenzie stated "it's believed Montreal would get a roster player from Toronto" in exchange.
However, the blueliner may not waive his clause at all.
McKenzie tweeted that the situation is "problematic for all. Montreal had deal with Toronto but Gorges refused to waive his modified NTC to go to Toronto. Still won't."
The Gorges situation could get more complicated if he refuses to waive his no-trade.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin hasn’t had time to catch his breath.
Last week, Bergevin combined preparations for the National Hockey League draft with a series of continuing negotiations and there’s more discussion on the agenda heading into the opening of the free-agent market at noon Tuesday.
Bergevin has had conversations with the agents for a number of unrestricted free agents, but his immediate concern is the team’s own UFAs. Captain Brian Gionta and defencemen Francis Bouillon and Mike Weaver are in a position to test the free-agent market, and while Bergevin said he hasn’t closed the door on any member of the trio it doesn’t appear any of them will sign before the deadline.
Weaver’s agent has already said he will pursue other avenues after a lukewarm response from the Canadiens.
Gionta wants to stay in Montreal, but he could probably get more money and a longer term elsewhere. Bergevin still has to sign restricted free agent Lars Eller, but the GM has 11 forwards under contract and the list of candidates to join Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk on the No. 2 line include the Rene Bourque we saw in the playoffs, Daniel Brière, Dale Weise and Michael Bournival.
There are continuing talks with agent Don Meehan over a new deal for defenceman P.K. Subban.
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Monday that the team has agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension with defenseman Andrei Markov (2014-15 to 2016-17).
“We are very happy to have secured a long term agreement with Andrei. He is an important part of our group of core players. He is healthy, shows a very good work ethic and has great leadership skills. He plays big minutes against the top opponents, and game-changing defensemen of his calibre are hard to find” said Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.
“I am very pleased to be a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization for the coming years. I love Montreal and I am very confident in our group of players. I want to contribute to the success of our team,” said Andrei Markov.
... while the Canadiens just had their second 100-point season since 1993, they were also a team that ranked in the bottom third in terms of possession and responded to that by signing their coach to a four-year contract extension. For the Habs' sake, they better hope Michel Therrien has some ideas about how to reverse that puck possession trend because if the plan is to rely on Carey Price to play out of his mind in goal, well, it's possible that will work, but it's a risky approach to bank on a goaltending advantage to overcome a puck possession deficit.
-Scott Cullen of TSN in his Off-Season Game Plan for the Montreal Canadiens. Read much more from Cullen regarding the Canadiens.
Markov will be 36 on December 20th.
MONTRÉAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Saturday a four-year contract extension for head coach Michel Therrien (2015-16 to 2018-19).
“We're very happy to have agreed to a contract extension with Michel Therrien for multiple seasons. Michel is an accomplished and experienced coach who has instilled a culture of hard work in our organization while helping develop our young players. Michel and his coaching staff work in a unique and demanding hockey market and the team's success over the last two seasons are a reflection of their excellent work. This decision reflects our desire for stability and consistency within our hockey operations department”, said Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.
Now 50, Michel Therrien has coached close to 1,100 games in professional hockey (592 games in the NHL and 501 in the American Hockey League).
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired center Louis Leblanc from Montreal in exchange for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Leblanc, 23 (1/26/91), has scored 5-5=10 points with a +4 rating and 32 penalty minutes (PIM) in 50 career NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens. Leblanc made his NHL debut with Montreal in 2011-12, leading team rookies in goals and ranking second in scoring (5-5=10) and assists. The 6-0, 180-pound center also appeared in eight games for the Canadiens in 2013-14, going scoreless with a +1 rating and four PIM.
from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,
As much as Vanek disappeared for the Canadiens in the playoffs, Gaborik has grabbed the spotlight. Of course, we always have to clarify that by saying "a healthy" Gaborik has grabbed the spotlight. Still, it's fascinating to watch. And Gaborik, too, is about to be a free agent.
There's no question the Kings will make every effort to re-sign him, but Gaborik still will field offers before making his decision. He is 32 years old. Vanek is 30. For the sake of decision, let's look at some numbers.
Vanek is coming off of a seven-year, $50 million contract originally signed with the Buffalo Sabres. He didn't help himself with his playoff performance, but he is still going to command a long-term deal. Gaborik is coming off of a five-year, $37.5 million contract originally signed with the New York Rangers. With his history of injuries, he won't be able to command a long-term deal.
Let's say they end up with similar money on the open market -- I don't know that they will, but we'll assume that -- but Vanek insists on five or six years while Gaborik will take three years or maybe even two. Does that make it more interesting? After all, the Wild have young players coming up through the pipeline. It might be tough to commit that much money for that long.
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
The morning after the Canadiens slipped out of the playoffs, I was bombarded with emails calling their performance “disgraceful” and worse. A team that had surely overachieved in sweeping Tampa Bay and giving Boston the boot had embarrassed the uniform by failing to play like the 1970s dynasty.
Whoa. No one today plays like the ’70s Habs. That’s because it’s a 30-team league with a hard salary cap. You can’t stockpile Hall of Famers the way Sam Pollock did. You can’t fleece half-bright GMs who aren’t doing their homework, because Mike Milbury is no longer on Long Island.
It used to be there were three or four teams with a legitimate chance at a Stanley Cup every season. Now there are as many as a dozen. Never have there been so many good teams. Not great teams, perhaps, but extremely tough outfits: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose, Anaheim, St. Louis, Colorado, Boston, Pittsburgh, the Rangers, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Detroit and Montreal, with a half-dozen others looking to kick in the door.
Success in this league is defined in a different way. No one is going to win six Cups in a decade. Today, a dynasty is a team that has a shot every year for a decade and perhaps wins it two or three times in that time frame: The Blackhawks, in other words.
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