Habs say it’s ‘way too early’ for Radulov extension


Alex Radulov‘s latest NHL return has gone swimmingly — three goals and eight points in 10 games thus far — and he’s played a big role in the club’s scintillating 9-0-1 start.

This, unsurprisingly, has some fans clamoring for Montreal to get him re-signed.

To that, GM Marc Bergevin has a message:


“Way too early,” Bergevin said, per ESPN. “I remember when we traded for [Thomas] Vanek, and he really helped us get into the playoffs — he did — at the end it didn’t work out as well for him and us down the stretch. For the first month or so after we got him, some fans and media were saying, ‘Sign, sign, sign.’

Invoking Vanek’s name might seem like a huge powder keg, given how poorly his time in Montreal ended (see here and here and here).

But you can see where Bergevin’s coming from.

For starters, the Habs can’t sign Radulov — currently on a one-year, $5.75 million deal — to an extension until Jan. 1. That’s just under two months away. Plenty can transpire from now ’til then, like an injury or Radulov doing Radulov things.

Secondly, Bergevin has some other important deals on the horizon. Alex Galchenyuk is in the last year of his entry-level contract, as is Nathan Beaulieu. Decisions will also need to be make on a pair of tenured veteran UFAs — Andrei Markov and David Desharnais — and it’ll be interesting to see what the club does with backup netminder Al Montoya, who’s been a terrific addition thus far.

Add it all up, and it’s not surprising Bergevin is preaching restraint when it comes to Radulov.

“You’ve got to be patient,” he said. “There’s lots of time.”