Latest on Subban, O’Reilly and Kulikov.

With the start of the upcoming season fast approaching, RFA stars P.K. Subban, Ryan O’Reilly and Dmitry Kulikov remain unsigned.

Canadiens no closer to re-signing Subban.

Canadiens no closer to re-signing Subban.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited a twitter post by Montreal Gazette reporter Dave Stubbs in which agent Don Meehan, who represents Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, said last night he and the Canadiens still aren’t close to agreement on a new contract for the blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One internet rumor suggested the Canadiens trade Subban to the Dallas Stars for forward Jamie Benn, who is also an unsigned restricted free agent. Not gonna happen. Besides, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin recently said he’s not trading Subban. The Habs want to retain Subban (their best defenseman), and he obviously wants to remain a Hab. It appears the problem is wrangling out the term. The Canadiens are rumored to have offered up a three year deal worth $4 million per season, while Subban wants a five-year deal for the same money. Eventually, this will get done, though both sides would’ve preferred this sooner rather than later.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports the Colorado Avalanche remain in negotiations with the agent for center Ryan O’Reilly, who continues to play in the KHL while awaiting a new contract with the Avs. O’Reilly turned down a five-year, $17 million offer from the Avs last summer, seeking something closer to $5 million per season.The club’s latest offer is similar to the two-year, $7 million deal signed by teammate Matt Duchene last season. Dater reports “despite the gulf in salary desires”, Avs management isn’t considering trading him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nor should they, though O’Reilly’s salary demands are rather high. He does have considerable promise and has made consistent improvement in his early NHL career, but $5 million per season is a steep demand for a player of his caliber. $3.5 million per season seems more reasonable, but he’s apparently making $4 million per in the KHL.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov reports Florida Panthers assistant GM Mike Santos said he hasn’t spoken with the agent for unsigned RFA defenseman Dmitry Kulkov in the past 48 hours and doesn’t consider the two sides close to an agreement. Like O’Reilly, Kulikov continues to play in the KHL while awaiting a new NHL contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Subban, Benn, and O’Reilly, don’t expect Kulikov to be put upon the trade market. Of the four, it appears Kulikov remains the furthest from getting a deal done.


  1. There was a huge thread on Mile High Hockey about O’Reilly yesterday. Personally, rather than wait, if the Avs don’t want to sign him, they should trade him. The Arizona Republic recently had a story on Maloney looking for forward help. It insinuates that Yandle is available. Seems like a good fit for both teams

  2. I suspect the Avs would have to add a significant piece(s) or draft pick(s) to get Yandle.

    • Really? He would easily be Phoenix’s #1 center, is only 21, plays Coyote hockey, and will probably make about $1M less than Yandle. I suggested O’Reilly and a 2nd for Yandle. I doubt Phoenix would pass that up.

  3. Hey Spector,

    what are the chances that Jason Arnott ends up in Vancouver? as the Canucks have now lost Booth for 4 to 6 weeks and Kesler is sidelined till who knows when. Arnott can bring leadership, stability and another Centre to team that is a large net presence as well.

    • I haven’t heard of anything suggesting the Canucks have serious interest lately, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Last fall I know there were reports out of Vancouver suggesting the Canucks might be interested in Arnott if Kesler wasn’t fully recovered from off-season surgery. Worth keeping an eye on.

  4. What is it with these young guys who have played maybe three years, coming off there entry level contracts and demanding salaries why higher than their experience dictates. I am not a Subban fan but i can agree that he does have potential to be a good player. However, I dont think he has proven himself to be worth 4 or 5 million per quite yet. And yes, I hear the arguement that your paying for the player he will be in the future but as far as I’m concerned that is a load of crap. He does possess offensive flair but until he proves he can play some decent defense on a consistant basis he is not worth what he thinks.
    o’Reilly, man get a grip, 5 mil a season. Again another greedy young man who has not proven a damn thing. This is a prime example of a player who is playing for the money and not for the love of the game. If he is getting 4 mil in Russia and could sign hear for say 3.25 or 3.5 and will stay in Russia because of the differance, well buddy stay in Russia, we don’t need you.
    As for Kulikov, another greedy guy, but he may be wanting to stay in Russia for reasons other than money, who knows.
    I hope that the owners show some restraint and hold fast. Wasn’t this one of the reasons for the lockout in the first place. maybe its about time they showed what they say and do are the same thing. Lets hope teams like the flyers keep their offer sheet forms hidden in a locked safe somewhere.

    • these are kids being told what to do by their agents. Don’t take it personaly its business.

    • Dustin Penner broke the system

      • NO Kevin Lowe broke the system. Would you turn down $21 million bucks if it was handed to you?

        • nope

  5. Hey Lyle,

    How inconceivable is it for the Oilers to throw an offer sheet at Subban?

    Like 4.5 to 5 a year for 6 or 7 years?

    Not saying PK is necessarily worth that today, but consider what 5 million will be worth in 3 years, and its a deal.

    Whitney, Sutton, Smid and Fistric are all UFA at the end of this season.

    Are the penalties still the same if the Canadiens do not match it?

    • Doubt it happens, and if they did, the Habs would quickly match.

  6. Gomez was just put on waivers to accelerate his buyout. Seems this can aid Montreal in signing Subban.
    But I’m puzzled – maybe SPECTOR can help:
    If a cap-floor team were to claim Gomez, would that put Montreal on the hook for half his contract over the next couple years?
    If so, this accelerated buyout process could cause problems

    • No, you’re thinking of re-entry waivers, which no longer exist. If a team were to claim Gomez (highly unlikely), they’d be taking on the remainder of his contract.

      • Thanks for clearing that up for me

        • I thought that if someone claimed Gomez, Montreal is paying the salary for this year, and the team that claimed him, would have to sign him for next yr. He would still receive his buy out for next year from Montreal.

  7. Another question, UNRELATED:
    When Ovechkin returned from Russia, he made comments of his contract being shortened, that he may not like this new CBA. Is it possible a team can alter a player’s contract to stay within the new “guidelines”?
    Seemed odd he made those comments, for I never took the new CBA that way. But then again, I’m not very knowledgeable to its content.

    Thanks again SPECTOR, your site is still my FIRST CHOICE to ALL goings on in hockey!!

    • The contract terms cannot be renegotiated.

      • Thanks again, SPECTOR.
        So what do you think Ovechkin was referring to and upset about?
        Have you looked over the new CBA?
        If so, are there any NEGATIVES to understand?
        I’m hoping BOTH sides begin negotiations before the 8th yr opt out, and ensure NO MORE STOPPAGES

  8. Hey Spec,

    Is O’Riley a true 1st line centre? Would he be a fit for the Leafs or is he just a slightly better Bozak/Grabovski?

    • O’Reilly is a fine two-way center. The Avs won’t trade him.

  9. test

  10. Think coyotes will trade some of the older d-men before they trade yandle , klesla Probally be the guy they trade

  11. I believe Av’s will do everything possible to resign O’Reilly. The have 3 centres, Stastny, Duchene and O’Reilly who could handle the first line duties if needed, and they have good depth on the wings, and in between the pipes. Of the 3 centres, I could see them trying to shop Stastny and his 6.6 million per year contract. On paper overall, they look decent,so in exchange perhaps an upgrade on Defense.

    I am not trying to turn this into a Maple Leafs thread., but I just wanted to make an observation. The Leafs maintain they need a number one centre. Fair enough, but I find it funny that on a points per game basis, Tyler Bozak was almost on par with Stastny, Duchene and O’Reilly, last season, all three of whom most NHL fans feel can be (or have been) the number one centre for Colorado. While their record is nothing to brag about, I find it interesting the standards and perceptions that are held to certain teams as being acceptable.

    If the Leafs end up doing a trade for Luongo that involves Bozak, and they do not feel they have a chance at getting Ryan Getzlaf, perhaps they look here for a centre (Stasny) in exchange for a defenseman like Mike Komisarek, as the Av’s have a couple of oldies on the back end.

  12. I’d like someone to send an offer sheet to Suban too just to get Montreal to crap-or-get-off-the-pot. It’s like this is Bergevin’s first “test” and he wants to show he’s able to be tough. I project Suban to be “at best” a 3-4 guy over the long haul. He’s exciting to watch but lacks hockey smarts. Kinda like Phaneuf used to be with that big shot. Then we found out he has cement feet. Suban has blazing speed and can jump into the rush but gets confused easily in his own zone against forwards with skill. We’ll see how this plays out, but I think Montreal brass knows long term this guy might not be worth the money – so their hedging their bets on a shorter deal. I don’t blame them.