P.K. Subban

Canadiens sign P.K. Subban to two-year, $5.75M contract

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Despite some tense moments, P.K. Subban signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.

TVA Sports Louis Jean reports that the deal is worth $5.75 million overall, with 2012-13 paying out $2 million and 2013-14 providing a $3.75 million salary. That’s impressive work for new Habs GM Marc Bergevin, who apparently did hold strong and convinced Subban to take a deal worth just a little more than fellow RFA blueliners Dmitry Kulikov and Michael Del Zotto.

In fact, if you’re a Habs fan or Bergevin, this calls for a triple low-five (via Getty):

source: Getty Images

The team announced that Subban will join the team on Wednesday, although that doesn’t guarantee he’ll play against Ottawa on that day. He’ll miss Tuesday’ match versus Winnipeg for sure, then.

The 23-year-old has played an increasingly large role in Montreal’s defense since becoming a regular in 2010-11. Subban scored seven goals and 36 points last season, which represented a drop-off from 2010-11, but his 24:18 minutes per game showed that he was a cornerstone of the team’s defense.

Getting him for less than $3 million for the next two seasons (a $2.875 million cap hit, to be exact) is quite the steal.

Of course, it only holds off the next potential big payday, as this bridge deal covers Subban and the Canadiens until the 2014 off-season.

Montreal not budging on its two-year offer to Subban

P.K. Subban
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P.K. Subban is still unsigned in Montreal and it sounds like Habs GM Marc Bergevin has made a stand.

Renaud Lavoie from RDS reports the team is sticking to the same two-year offer they made to the restricted free agent back in May worth a total of $5.1 million. Montreal has held firm in wanting a short-term deal while Subban wants the exact opposite.

What seems clear here is that Montreal is comparing Subban to fellow RFA defensemen, Michael Del Zotto and Dmitry Kulikov. Del Zotto signed a two-year, $5.2 million deal with the Rangers right before training camp while Kulikov re-upped with the Panthers for two years at $5 million.

When you look at the raw numbers, the comparison to Del Zotto isn’t so far-fetched. That said, Subban’s importance to the Habs and their future on the blue line as well as their salary cap health next season ($53 million committed to just 16 players according to CapGeek) helps give you the stalemate we’re in now.

Perhaps this situation might wind up seeing Subban traded after all.

Related

Subban needs weekend to reflect after Habs meeting

Subban: “I want to be paid what I’m worth”

PHT Extra: Should the Habs trade PK Subban?

Neuvirth to start for Washington vs. Montreal on Thursday

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders
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Caps head coach Adam Oates has confirmed that Michal Neuvirth will get the start in goal when Washington hosts Montreal on Thursday night.

The news comes less than 24 hours after Braden Holtby suffered his second straight loss to begin the season — a 4-2 defeat to Winnipeg.

Through the two games, Holtby has posted a 5.04 GAA and .863 save percentage, allowing 10 goals on 73 shots.

Following the Jets game, Holtby told the Washington Post he wasn’t happy with his start to the season and felt he should’ve stopped Andrew Ladd’s first-period goal:

“Whenever you let in 10 goals in two games, obviously it’s not good, but at the same time, I feel fine,” he explained. “When you break down the goals, they’re not trends or overly bad goals, other than the second one tonight, I felt. . . . I’m trying to get adapted to everything, and I want to keep improving and getting better and learning from these two games.”

Neuvirth hasn’t played this year and will make his season debut on Thursday, and rust could be a factor

While he did play 24 games during the lockout for HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga — posting a 2.51 GAA and .925 save percentage — he hasn’t faced game action since early January.

“I feel cold, but, you know, this is job I pick and I gotta handle it. I’m trying to stay positive and happy,” Neuvirth told the Washington Times. “I felt good during the practice today and I’m ready to go.”

Montreal releases Commodore from AHL tryout

Mike+Commodore+Detroit+Red+Wings+v+Calgary+BMdLTrGl_TRl
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After spending nearly two months with the organization, Mike Commdore parted ways with the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

RDS’ Renaud Lavoie reports Commodore was released from his PTO (professional try out) with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton, making the veteran defenseman an unrestricted free agent.

Commodore, 33, had attended Canadiens training camp but found it difficult cracking a defensive group that featured seven players on one-way deals (and an eighth, PK Subban, in the midst of negotiations.)

Commodore appeared in 16 games for the Bulldogs this season, notching two assists and 26 PIM.

The colorful rearguard has fallen on tough times since signing a five-year, $18.75 million deal with Columbus prior to the 2008-09 campaign.

While his first season in Ohio was successful — he appeared in 81 games, finished second in defenseman scoring and played a key role in the BJ’s first-ever playoff appearance — things went south shortly thereafter.

Commodore saw his playing time steadily decrease until things hit rock bottom in 2010-11. After being made a healthy scratch in seven of eight games by then-head coach Scott Arniel, Commodore requested a trade but was instead put on waivers.

NHLPA might take issue with Montreal’s decision to send Gomez home

Jets Canadiens Hockey
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The Montreal Canadiens have made it clear that they intend to use an amnesty buyout on Scott Gomez’s contract this summer. Until then, they won’t let him play.

The reason for that is simple: If Gomez sustains an injury that lasts through the summer, then he can’t be bought out. The Canadiens are already pushing against the cap and with it set to go down to $64.3 million in 2013-14, shedding Gomez’s $7,357,143 hit seems like their best option.

It might not be that simple though as the NHLPA is reviewing the situation, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie.

Why? Sports lawyer Eric Macramalla recently explained what might happen in an article for CBS Sports:

It would not be unreasonable for the NHLPA to grieve the expulsion of Gomez. Contract law obligations flow both ways. Part of that includes providing Gomez the reasonable opportunity to discharge the services he has been contracted to provide. In part, the NHLPA could argue sending home a perfectly healthy player with no off-ice issues simply with a view to preserving an amnesty buyout is not in keeping with the spirit of the contract. The NHLPA could say Gomez is being banished not because he failed to discharge his contractual obligations, but simply because of newly implemented system issues.

The union might also argue that forcing Gomez to miss the entire season will hurt his market value. The 33-year-old forward is coming off a horrendous season and the Canadiens’ decision will make it impossible for him to earn some sort of redemption before he enters the free agent market.

Gomez had two goals and 11 points in 38 games in 2011-12. He got some playing time with the ECHL Alaska Aces during the lockout and recorded six goals and 13 points in 11 contests.