According to TVA Sport analyst and former Montreal defenseman Patrice Brisebois, the Canadiens may soon be parting ways with center Scott Gomez.
On Monday night, Brisebois reported (see video here — helps if you speak French) that Gomez informed acquaintances he’s expecting the Habs to buy out the remainder of his deal at season’s end.
Given that Gomez 1) has two years left with an annual cap hit of $7.36 million and 2) is over the age of 26, Montreal would assume his cap hit over a period of four years (twice the remaining length of the contract.) You can see the full workup here.
If the buyout does indeed happen, it’ll be a rather fitting end to one of the most disastrous acquisitions in Canadiens history. Not only did Montreal take on one of the league’s most bloated contracts — they paid a pretty price in doing so, giving up the likes of Pavel Valentenko, Chris Higgins and Ryan McDonagh.
Since coming to Montreal in 2009 Gomez has appeared in 196 games, scoring just 21 goals while posting a minus-23 rating.
Note: Eric Engels of CTV Montreal brings up a salient point — the Canadiens might be hoping to buy Gomez out, without penalty, if there’s a window of opportunity like there was with the last CBA (see: compliance buyouts).
Or, they could hope the NHL adopts the NBA’s amnesty clause and just get rid of him that way.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: