Montreal Canadiens Spotlight: End of an Era & Del Zotto deal framework for PK Subban?
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By James Stephan (@J_Habs)
On January 13th, 2013, Canadiens GM Mark Bergevin met with the media at the Brossard practice facility to announce that the Montreal Canadiens have officially parted ways with enigmatic center Scott Gomez.
Bergevin stated that this was in the best interest of the Montreal Canadiens future.
After an abysmal season of eleven points in 38 games played, it comes as no surprise that the Alaskan native is being bought out. Gomez has always been the subject of harsh criticism both in New York and Montreal, having his 7.3 million dollar cap hit hanging around his career like a proverbial noose.
From the moment Scott Gomez was traded to Montreal, the deck was stacked against him; on June 30th, 2009, Canadiens GM Bob Gainey acquired Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Mike Busto for Chris Higgins, Doug Janik, Pavel Valentenko and Ryan McDonagh. This deal would later be remembered as one of the worst transactions done during Gainey’s tenure as Ryan McDonagh soon became a cornerstone defender for the New York Rangers.
Bergevin has hit the ground running, wasting no time in tackling his laundry list things to do and many will agree that the Canadiens GM has thus far been a breath of fresh air to a team that’s in desperate need of change.
Michael Del Zotto has agreed to terms with the New York Rangers to a two-year deal rumored to be in the neighborhood of 2.5-3 million per year. It is worth mentioning that Del Zotto and Subban share the same agent in Don Meehan, and with the type of player that Del Zotto is, a comparison could be drawn to create a framework deal for the Montreal defender.
PK Subban produced 36 points and registered 7 goals last season while logging an average 24:18 minutes played per game. With Gorges making 3.9, Kaberle making 4.25 and Markov making 5.75, it highly probable that Meehan will be using these contracts as negotiating points feeling that his client deserves at least 5 million based on his production, and utilization the last two seasons.
Friday January 11th, 2013 it was rumored on TSN Radio 690 that a deal of 22 million over four years was in place for the young defender which would have Subban at a cap hit of 5.5 million. This deal has yet to occur, and according to many media sources such as Bob McKenzie a deal is not close between the two parties.
The clock is ticking, and with Del Zotto as another defender to accept a bridge deal, we may see Subban go a similar route of 3 years 4-4.5 million per year. If Bergevin has demonstrated anything it’s that he is all about business, and addressing what needs to be done with the utmost efficiency.