Tag: Sergei Gonchar

Kyle Chipchura, Tom Sestito

Penguins give Tom Sestito a tryout contract


The Pittsburgh Penguins handed out another professional tryout contract to another familiar face, giving Tom Sestito a shot as of Wednesday.

Pittsburgh gave the same thing to defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who obviously has a more storied history with the franchise than Sestito.

In each case, it won’t be easy for either player to make the team, especially if each veteran isn’t open-minded to playing in the AHL. That would likely be less of an issue with Sestito, 27, as he played 10 games with the Utica Comets in the AHL and three with the Vancouver Canucks in 2014-15.

Last season marked his third campaign with Vancouver. Sestito has also seen reps with the Columbus Blue Jackets (who drafted him 85th overall in 2006) and Philadelphia Flyers.

In 137 career NHL games, he has 18 points and 432 penalty minutes, so that should give you a good idea about his role.

Habs sign Beaulieu to a two-year, $2 million extension

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The Montreal Canadiens have come to terms on a two-year contract extension with defenseman Nathan Beaulieu the club announced.

According to multiple reports, the deal is for $2 million ($1 million AAV) and is a one-way contract.

Beaulieu was set to become a restricted free agent with his three-year, $3.8 million entry-level contract expiring.

The 22-year-old appeared in 65 games with the Canadiens in 2014-15 scoring one goal and eight assists while averaging 15:42 in time on ice.

He also appeared in eight American Hockey League games with the Hamilton Bulldogs scoring two goals and four points.

With Beaulieu and Jeff Petry signed, the Habs have seven defensemen under contract for next season.

GM Marc Bergevin announced last month that the club would not re-sign pending unrestricted free agents Mike Weaver and Sergei Gonchar.

Related: Hearing from Price and Subban ‘weighed in a lot’ on Petry’s decision

Gonchar, Zidlicky plan to return next season

Montreal Canadiens v Arizona Coyotes

Sergei Gonchar and Marek Zidlicky intend to play at least one more season in the NHL.

Both veteran defensemen are set to become unrestricted free agents next month.

Zidlicky split the 2014-15 season between the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings. In 84 games the 38-year-old had seven goals and 34 points to go along with a minus-9 rating while averaging over 20 minutes a night in ice time.

“He is 100 percent committed to playing in the NHL next season,” Zidlicky’s agent Allan Walsh tweeted on Monday afternoon.

Gonchar split the 2014-15 season between the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens. The Habs announced last month that they would not be bringing the 41-year-old back for next season.

Montreal acquired Gonchar from Dallas in exchange for Travis Moen in November.

In 48 games this season Gonchar had one goal and 13 assists to go along with a plus-6 rating while averaging nearly 18 minutes a night in ice time.

Gonchar told TVA’s Renaud Lavoie that he wants to play one more season.

Habs cutting ties with Gonchar, Malhotra, Weaver

Montreal Canadiens v Arizona Coyotes

Three of the oldest players on the Montreal roster are on their way out.

Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver and Sergei Gonchar — the Habs’ elder statesman this year, at 41 — won’t be brought back for next season, GM Marc Bergevin confirmed during Friday’s end-of-season presser.

The moves don’t come as a huge surprise, given all were pending UFAs and none played in the playoffs. Malhotra had the biggest role on the team during the regular season, appearing in 58 games, and Gonchar did provide some offense on the back end, racking up 13 points in 45 games.

Weaver, a renowned shot-blocker that played regularly in last year’s run to the Eastern Conference Final, was largely a spare part this season and appeared in just 31 games, one of the lowest totals of his career.

It’ll be interesting to see what each player does next. The 34-year-old Malhotra, the youngest of the three, said he wants to keep playing; Weaver, who just turned 37, has played for six different teams over the last 13 years and always seems to find somewhere to sign. Gonchar could very well be done.

Finally, it’s worth noting that over $7 million comes off the books with Gonchar, Weaver and Malhotra leaving town. Important, because the club has said that re-signing pending UFA d-man Jeff Petry is a priority, and Petry isn’t going to come cheap.

Petry says signing with Montreal is his first choice

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four

“Personally, I’d love to see him back. I think he compliments our defense corps great and I think that, at his age, good defensemen like that are hard to come by.”

That quote comes courtesy Montreal’s P.K. Subban, speaking at Thursday’s end-of-year media availability about fellow blueliner Jeff Petry.

Petry, a pending UFA who came to Montreal at the trade deadline and showed very well, is thought to be at the top of Habs GM Marc Bergevin’s priority list this summer.

Turns out the Habs are high on Petry’s list, too.

Petry, 27, scored seven points in 19 regular-season games with the Habs while averaging 22:11 TOI per night, then continued that strong effort in the postseason with three points in 12 games, averaging 22:17.

It’s clear Montreal would like him back. D-men Sergei Gonchar and Mike Weaver are also UFAs — not expected to be re-signed — and while Bergevin needs to ink new deals for RFAs Alex Galchenyuk and Nathan Beaulieu, Petry could fit within Montreal’s current cap structure.

But it won’t be easy.

First, there’s a money issue — Petry made $3.075M last season and would likely see a significant raise on the open market. This year’s UFA d-man class isn’t especially deep, and it’d be hard for Petry to ignore the payday Matt Niskanen scored by going to market last summer (seven years, $40.25 million from Washington.)

Petry should also have a number of interested suitors. Chief among them would be the Detroit Red Wings, who have been on a seemingly endless search for a right-shot defenseman (Petry shoots right). What’s more, Petry is a Michigan native, a Michigan State Spartan alumni — where he was teammates with Justin Abdelkader — and the son of ex-MLB pitcher Dan Petry, who helped the Detroit Tigers win the 1984 World Series.