PK Subban is going to get paid. That much we know. It may not be the smoothest negotiation for the 25-year-old restricted free agent — it sure wasn’t last time — but it’s hard to imagine the Montreal Canadiens and their star defenseman not getting a long-term deal hammered out eventually. If they don’t, well, you’ll hear all about it on PHT. That’s a promise.
Andrei Markov is a different story. The 35-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent, coming off a three-year, $17.25 million contract. He had a big role with the Habs this season, leading the club in average ice time (25:14), with 43 points to boot.
But how much is he worth to the Canadiens going forward? Is it as much as he could get on the open market? How badly does he want to remain in Montreal? How many years does he want? Would two years for $10 million get it done? Three years for $12 million?
We’ll find out soon enough. But if they don’t get something done, all those minutes he logged will have to be split up somehow.
The Canadiens do have a few young defensemen waiting in the wings, like Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu, and Greg Pateryn. Plus, Josh Gorges and Alexei Emelin are each signed through 2017-18. And Montreal could always add another d-man in free agency or in a trade.
Still, losing Markov would present a challenge, not to mention mark the end of an era. The Russian native has never played for another NHL team, suiting up for 765 games in a Habs uniform, plus 71 more in the playoffs.
Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.
Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.
The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).
His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.
Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.
He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.