Kukla's Korner Hockey
MONTREAL - Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Monday the signing of defenseman P.K. Subban to a two-year contract (2012-13 to 2013-14). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
After playing 1,200 games for the Habs, making the Hall of Fame, and having his No. 19 hoisted to the rafters, Robinson considered coming full circle. He was very interested in the head coaching job last summer, but the 61-year-old couldn’t get together with general manager Marc Bergevin, who eventually hired Michel Therien.
After being Devils coach Peter DeBoer’s assistant last season as New Jersey reached the Stanley Cup final, Robinson took a job in San Jose so he and his wife could be closer to his daughter and their twin, seven-year-old grandsons who live in Los Angeles. But the idea of taking a crack at the Habs job was percolating in his head.
“I kind of thought of working there (in Montreal) this year, but I guess the writing was on the wall … it wasn’t going to happen. I was supposed to meet with Bergevin (to interview) but we had a big storm and a flood in Florida and I wanted to make sure everything was fine at the farm. I wanted to make sure the horses and my machinery weren’t going to float away,” said Robinson.
“Then he got word I was taking other offers (Sharks general manager Doug Wilson had called out of the blue to see about Robinson moving to San Jose). He did what he had to do and I did what I had to do.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
His stock is falling with each Canadiens win.
Make no mistake about it — the Canadiens could be a better team with Subban filling one of the top four defence spots. But there’s no guarantee and Subban’s position becomes more difficult with each day he remains unsigned.
In an interview with colleague Dave Stubbs, Subban said he wants to be compensated for what he brings to the team on and off the ice. It’s seem a fair request, but the reality — as we pointed out here a week ago — is that life isn’t fair.
Young players like Subban have little in the way of bargaining power. The National Hockey League collective bargaining agreement limits what players can earn in their first three seasons. After that, many teams offer “bridge” contracts that give a player a chance to prove he deserves a rich, long-term deal in his third contract.
"I think it's ultimately heading toward a trade. They're just too far apart on the term of the contract - P.K. wants long, the Canadiens want two years - and they're probably at least $2.5 to $3 million per year apart on where they want to be. Ultimately I think this ends up in a trade."
-Bob McKenzie of TSN. Read more on the Subban situation at TSN.
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
So what does newly minted GM Marc Bergevin do now? In this short-sprint season, 10 games without Subban could douse any playoff hopes the CH might entertain, when every game is the equivalent of two in a normal season.
Bergevin sensibly does not want to break the bank for a player who (in the organization’s view) has not quite proved himself. For reasons that have never been publicly clear, the club has always been a little down on Subban: It was that way with Pierre Gauthier, Jacques Demers and Randy Cunneyworth, it’s that way now with Bergevin and Michel Therrien, who only a short time ago was Subban’s most ferocious critic in the media.
Now, assuming that Subban signs at some point, the same guy who was ripping him on RDS is his coach, which could be part of the problem here. Technically, Subban isn’t a holdout, because he doesn’t have a contract. In truth, as a restricted free agent without other offers, the effect of his absence is the same as a holdout.
The one thing you know is that agent Donnie Meehan is not going to sell his client short. The amiable Meehan isn’t given to outrageous statements; in public, at least, he’s a quiet bulldog who will hang on until he has everything he can get — much as Donald Fehr did during the CBA negotiations.
Paul Grant of ESPN described it this way...
The night's opening ceremonies were a fridge stocked full of cheese, but none more cringe-worthy than the torch relay in Montreal. Not because it was a bad idea, but because it was anxiety personified, each calamitous step bringing those legends dangerously close to taking a header while carrying fire.
You can watch the ceremony below, bypass some of the introductions and at the 2:40 mark, the all-time Montreal greats begin appearing. I'm just glad Henri Richard stopped when he did.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
There was no trace of Scott Gomez in the Canadiens' Brossard dressing room Sunday, in body or material reminder, even before most players had arrived for Day One of training camp.
Gomez's stall, beside that of old friend Brian Gionta, was efficiently emptied by equipment staff, all of his gear and personal effects bagged and hauled away by the player himself or placed in storage. His nameplate was gone, replaced by a generic blank.
Above his stall were the faces that have looked down from above him since he arrived in Montreal by trade on June 30, 2009: Hall of Famers Toe Blake, Émile Bouchard and Elmer Lach.
This is the way it is in professional hockey, on any club. If you're sent home, as Gomez was on Sunday, or traded or cut, your stall quickly bears no sign that you'd ever been a member of the team.
"As a teammate and as a friend, it's tough to see," Gionta said, speaking of Gomez's departure, following the Canadiens' first practice of this already extraordinary camp.
via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The top unsigned player in the NHL is forward Jamie Benn, and he wasn’t at the opening of Dallas Stars camp Sunday....
"I’m optimistic that we’ll have him back on the team, but it won’t be today," Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com on Sunday morning. "We’ll focus on the guys we have here because it’s a short camp and we need to get ready. But in the meantime, certainly we’ll keep working away at trying to get Jamie re-signed."
The No. 2 name among unsigned players is blueliner P.K. Subban. Things can obviously change quickly with one phone call, but as of Sunday morning my understanding was that things were not close on that front; both sides were still far apart.
On the flip side, Michael Del Zotto was at Rangers camp Sunday as he agreed to a two-year deal worth an average of $2.55 million per season. That’s an important signing for the Cup-contending Rangers.
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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.
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