Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/21/11 at 12:11 PM ET
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Andrei Markov, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and Josh Gorges, who is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, are still unsigned.
Markov’s agent, Don Meehan, said he and Gauthier are working on a deal for Markov and they will meet this week at the NHL entry draft in Minnesota. The 32-year-old Markov is coming off a long-term deal that paid him an average of $5.75 million. He has been the Canadiens’ best defenceman, but he has been injured in each of the past two seasons and has undergone three major surgeries.
Questions about his health will effect the talks, particularly when the discussion turns to the length of the contract….
Gauthier does have some money to play with as the salary cap goes up to $64 million. Monday’s signings raise the current commitment to $43.7 million, which leaves Gauthier with $20.3 million. Take away $5 million for three minimum-wage forwards, a seventh defenceman - Yannick Weber’s signing will be announced shortly - and a backup goalie and that leaves $15 million. That’s enough to satisfy Markov and Gorges with more than enough left over for a top-six forward.
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