Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chaaa-Chinnng!

Andrei Markov is now the highest-paid Canadien in franchise history. Andrei will now be making $23 million over the next 4 years, in case you were visiting your Amish friends and missed the announcement yesterday. I think this is a good deal for the Habs. Markov's price would have skyrocketed on the open market. Better to get him locked up now rather than risk getting in a bidding war for him after July 1.

Gainey did not really seem to get into the specifics of the deal...it might be $5.75 million per year, but I would imagine that it is more likely to be back-weighted the last year or two years. Doing such would allow us to sign Souray to a 2-year deal. I also found it curious as to how Gainey made it blatantly clear that Markov was his first priority, even over Souray. I wonder how Souray's camp feels about such statements? I wish Gainey would have chosen his words a little more carefully.

I recall reading a quote from Souray a couple of weeks ago where he said that he would be willing to give the Habs a discount, so long as they made a fair offer. I also believe he said something about how $6 million a season would be too much. It will be interesting to see if we can land Shelly.

As it stands now, our defensemen next year are:

Komisarek-Markov
Dandeneault-Bouillon
Streit-Gorges

My issue with our defense is how undersized they are. Komisarek and Bouillon are the only two physical guys. Frankie is not the most intimidating player, either. If we can't re-sign Shelly, we will need to find a big, physical defenseman.

Ryan O'Byrne also seems to be waiting in the wings. He has had a very steady year in the AHL this year. He is big and physical, although he is not known for his shot. Maybe the Habs will promote him as the 6th/7th defenseman? I think the odds are that he will not be promoted next year.

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