Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 08/25/10 at 01:35 PM ET
News today, via the wonderful Habsinsideout and Radio Canada, that Andrei Markov’s agent Don Meehan confirms no discussions have taken place on a Markov contract extension. Markov’s contract is due to expire at the end of the 2010-2011 season. More on that here:
Markov Talks Yet to Begin (French)
So no Andrei Markov talks, no news regarding a Carey Price contact – what exactly is Pierre Gauthier doing? My guess is that the Canadiens GM is heavily wrapped up in the Price negotiations, which may be going sideways. Consider some of the other restricted free agents currently without contracts for the coming season: Sam Gagner, Christ Stewart, Peter Mueller, Bobby Ryan, James Neal. The list goes on. These are all impact players, potential stars in some cases, younger than 23, and none of them have a contract with training camps a mere three weeks away. That’s not normal.
My guess? Since the Kovalchuk debacle, teams are reticent to log any ridiculously long deals, and at the same time the players likely want to cash in on the potential of an eight or ten year contract. Alternatively, players like Price and Ryan may think that a one year deal is in their best interests, as they can post superior numbers and ask for more money next summer.
So the dance continues. But the underlying fact remains that the Canadiens starting goaltender is unsigned, and their best defenceman – arguably their best player – is an unrestricted free agent in less than a year. And I haven’t even touched on the contracts of Kostitsyn, Gorges, Halak - er, well, that last guy doesn’t play for them anymore, but you get the picture.
I certainly hope Pierre Gauthier is a very busy man over the coming months. It could make or break the future of the Montreal Canadiens.
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