Bergevin wants to bring back Markov, Radulov — but not for their demands

Getty
14 Comments

The Montreal Canadiens have paid quite a price to extend their star goalie.

The Habs signed Carey Price to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension, which will begin for the 2018-19 season. With that pressing offseason priority now taken care of, general manager Marc Bergevin’s focus has turned to trying to get remaining free agents under contract for next season.

That includes unrestricted free agents Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov, and restricted free agent Alex Galchenyuk.

Bergevin spoke with reporters on Sunday, leaving the door open to the possibility of re-signing Markov or Radulov, but the prospect of that happening didn’t sound overly promising, either.

It was reported less than two weeks ago that the Habs had offered Radulov a three-year contract, although the two sides were, at that time, quite far apart, especially when it came to term.

Meanwhile, Markov reportedly wanted $12 million over two years to stay with the Habs. As you can imagine, Bergevin spent a good deal of his press conference discussing both players, with the opening of free agency yesterday.

Bergevin hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of both players returning, however.

Bergevin admitted he doesn’t see any viable options right now in free agency that could replace those two players if they don’t come back.

“Not right now,” he said. “We’ll have to do it by committee, I guess. I mean, we’re not going to start inventing players that aren’t there. We’d like to have these guys back, but there’s so much we can do.”

Galchenyuk is a restricted free agent, after his two-year, $5.6 million expired at the end of this past season.

His overall production may have dipped last season, with 17 goals and 44 points — remember, he also missed 21 games, too — but Galchenyuk is also a 30-goal scorer from 2015-16 and eligible for arbitration this summer, which could be an option, according to his agent Pat Brisson.

“We’ll try to get that done as soon as possible,” said Bergevin.

Related: Who’s left in NHL free agency? Radulov, Kovalchuk among biggest names