Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP at Sportsnet,
Since signing a two-year "bridge" deal that paid him US$3.75 million this season, the 25-year-old, who has become one of the NHL’s best and most entertaining defencemen, is a potential restricted free agent in position to ink a multi-year contract for a king’s ransom with the Montreal Canadiens.
Or he could take a shorter contract and then become an unrestricted free agent.
Subban said he hopes to sign a long-term deal and to stay in Montreal his entire career.
"I’m sure everybody in hockey wants a long-term contract, but for me, it’s not just about that," he said. "It’s about being part of a team that can win a championship, and I believe we have that in this dressing room.
"When it comes to contract stuff, that’s why I hire my agent (Don Meehan). That’s why we pay him. That’s his job and I’ll let him do his job. I’ve done mine, and he’ll do his."
Regarding Vanek's UFA status...
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban may be a divisive figure in hockey circles, but no one can plausibly argue he didn’t carry the mail in the playoffs.
That’s not to say he was perfect – he wasn’t – but Subban was clearly the best defenceman in the Habs’ lineup over the course of the postseason, and one of the top two or three in the league.
Now his general manager is going to have to get off his wallet.
Marc Bergevin will have all manner of subjects to consider this off-season, but it starts with sorting out a new contract for the 25-year-old defenceman.
It’s going to be expensive, perhaps even crazily so – why wouldn’t agent Don Meehan start the discussions at Evgeni Malkin-type money: eight years and $76-million?
Much ink will be spilled over the next few weeks about whether the sides will reach a long-term deal, settle on a one- or two-year pact, or even go the arbitration route, but if Bergevin still has doubts about what Subban can bring, he’s a surpassingly severe judge.
That said, the Subban decision, which is the most important, is also in some sense the easiest: If you’re the Habs, try contemplating life without him.
more Montreal talk...
Catch some of the action from last night's win by the New York Rangers...
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
P.K. Subban. Thomas Vanek. Andrei Markov. Brian Gionta.
The Montreal Canadiens will have some key decisions to make in the upcoming off-season regarding these four players, among others.
Over to you, Marc Bergevin.
In trying to deal with the heartache of his Habs season-ending 1-0 defeat at the hands of the New York Rangers on Thursday, the Canadiens general manager will quickly have to turn his attention to the cache of off-season business that awaits him.
Priority No. 1 should be to get Subban, a restricted free agent, inked to a long-term deal, one that likely will be in the $8.5 million-$10 million US range. True, Subban was not as dominant in the Eastern Conference final as he was in the first two rounds, but the Habs would not have gotten this far without the young franchise blueliner. And don’t forget that he has only just turned 25.
from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,
Let’s be the knowledgeable and classy Montreal hockey fans that we like to think we are by giving credit where credit is due:
The New York Rangers deserved to win the Eastern Conference Final.
They did so by playing textbook defence in Game 6, choking the last gaps of life out of a Canadiens team that was running on empty.
But what a run it was!
Your Canadiens lost the first and last games of their 2013-’14 season.
In between, they played better hockey than most of us expected.
On Oct. 1, when the Bell Centre siren sounded to end a 4-3 loss to Toronto, did anyone think the Canadiens would be ending their season by losing 1-0 at Madison Square Garden on May 29?
This team overachieved for the better part of eight months. They displayed character and resilience, capturing the hearts of a city that needs some distraction while we wait for the Champlain Bridge to collapse.
“I’m proud of this team,” Michel Therrien said – and fans should share the coach’s pride in a group of players that never quit.
“We made big progress,” Therrien added. “We battled hard in the regular season. We battled hard in the playoffs.”
The New York Rangers need to have a game 7 mentality in order to pull out a win.
The Montreal Canadiens will want this game to force a game 7 back in Montreal.
A battle is about to begin and I feel Lundqvist will have a comeback game and the Rangers will be the first team in the Stanley Cup Final.
Enjoy and the game starts just after 8:00pm ET and is on NBCSN, CBC and RDS.
Lundqvist has put game 5 behind him...
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
After Dale Weise was hit in the head by New York Rangers defenceman John Moore he rolled right back up and he tried to turn and he nearly fell down. His eyes were glassy and his hair was wild, because his helmet had come off. P.K. Subban grabbed him to hold him up, like a trainer hugging his boxer after throwing in the towel to end a fight. Tomas Plekanec helped Weise onto the bench; a trainer held Weise by the elbow on the way to the dressing room. It was the third period.
And Weise came back. The Montreal Canadiens had a two-goal lead in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final, and Weise played 1:44 the rest of the way, including most of the final minute. He was ruled out for Game 6 on Thursday morning. The Canadiens denied he had a concussion.
From Montreal head coach Michel Therrien’s press conference before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final:
Q: Is there any regret about having Dale come back given that the symptoms, obviously, came on after the game?
Therrien: You’re presuming it’s a head injury.
Q: Am I not correct?
Therrien: You’re not correct.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When Henrik Lundqvist was hooked from Tuesday night’s Game 5 in the Canadiens-Rangers series, you had to wonder about goaltending in the NHL East this year.
On paper, you are looking at one of the great goaltending mismatches in league history. The Rangers boast perhaps the best goaltender of this century to date, and while you’d most certainly get an argument on a lot of fronts making that contention, there is a strong case to be made for the Swede who has kept the Rangers on the map and in the playoffs for years behind some odd rosters.
On the other side, you have this would-be Rogatien Vachon figure in the Habs jersey, Dustin Tokarski, trying to become one of the Habs legendary rookies who come in and win a Stanley Cup the way Patrick Roy did in his first year in the league in 1993.
The only problem is, Tokarski is so far from a Roy it’s laughable. For starters, he hasn’t had a full season playing extremely well the way Roy did, nor does he appear to have anywhere near the kind of physical attributes or technique to even become a starter in the league much less a Hall of Famer.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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