NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Capitals and Senators

  • Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette: Hickey wonders if the Canadiens should give the 35-year old Andrei Markov a three-year contract extension. Markov has been the cornerstone of Canadiens blueline since 2000. He’s averaged over 25 minutes a game this season, 9th overall for defenseman. He’s 13th in points for Dmen with 41, and 9th in power-play point with 22. He kills penalties and has blocked a 160 shots. There are rumors that the Canadiens have made offers of one and two years, but were rejected. Markov has moved away from his initial, unrealistic hope of a five-year deal. A year deal is still somewhat risky given his injury history. There is also the risk of his salary counting against the cap even if he retires, due to it being a 35+ contract.
  • Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington: (mailbag) Responding to question if Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer are the Capitals goaltenders of the future. Two months ago it looked like they would be, but if pending UFA Jaroslav Halak is able to get the team into the playoffs, that could change. Holtby has one year left on his deal. Gormley wouldn’t be surprised if Holtby and Grubauer are their goaltenders next season. Halak will likely be looking for more than the $4.5 million he’s making this season. Gormley thinks there is a better chance that they re-sign Mikhail Grabovski over Dustin Penner. If they could re-sign Grabovski for around $4 million, he’d be a good second line center with Evgeny Kuznetsov and either Tom Wilson or Troy Brouwer next season.
  • Ian Mendes of TSN: Senators GM Bryan Murray on TSN 1200 radio last night. On Paul MacLean’s job security:

    “I don’t have a definite answer to that, but Paul’s got a contract going forward. He was Coach of the Year last year and I don’t know what happened this year necessarily as far as performance is concerned,” Murray said.

    Murray said that Bobby Ryan will be able to resume off-ice training. Ryan will be a UFA after next season and they will be able to start contract extension talks after July 1st.

    “I think he’s going to be happy to talk to us. We certainly plan to try to keep him, we hope to get something done with Bobby so he will have a long career in Ottawa,” said Murray.

    Murray on pending UFA Ales Hemsky:

    “I’ve said hello to his agent and I’ve talked to Ales a little bit and I get the impression he likes it here, he likes the city and he likes the way he’s been treated. Until you start talking and realize what the commitment is – term and dollar wise – it’s hard to know. Certainly we’ll have conversations and that’s part of the reason why we traded for him at the deadline. We thought if we could get him on board here and he gets to know the group and how we operate, it might be easier for us to negotiate with him and can be an advantage for us.”

    Murray on pending RFA Robin Lehner:

    “I know that Robin has indicated that he likes Ottawa and he wants to stay here,” said Murray. “We’ll get it done with Robin, but it’s just a matter of where he fits into our long-term plans here.”