Are the Montreal Canadiens in sell mode? Could Andrei Kostitsyn be among those on the way out? Read on for the latest.
RDS.CA: Mario Tremblay reports Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier is in “sell” mode, saying Scott Gomez, Hal Gill and Petteri Nokelainen won’t be back next season, while it’s questionable if Travis Moen, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mathieu Darche return. “Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Rene Bourque, David Desharnais and PK Subban will not go anywhere. The club is stuck with Tomas Kaberle,” writes Tremblay, who also believes Lars Eller and Brian Gionta could be trade material. Tremblay writes Gauthier should try to add more depth at center and on defense. He also believes it’s too early to wonder if Gauthier will return as GM next season or not.
TORONTO SUN: Chris Stevenson reports Gauthier and adviser Bob Gainey “have fanned out over the Midwest and the West Coast of the U.S., and have been seen at games over the past few days leading to speculation the Habs are getting ready to make a deal. It is a foregone conclusion veteran defenceman Hal Gill will be dealt and likely wingers Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn, as well.”
LA PRESSE: Marc Antoine Godin reports Canadiens winger Andrei Kostitsyn said he’d be willing to accept less than market value to re-sign with the Canadiens. Kostitsyn is eligible for UFA status this summer. He’s earning $3.25 million for this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kostitsyn would likely have to accept less than that to remain with the Canadiens, but it remains to be seen if he fits into their plans. I think it would be a mistake to trade Eller, who has good scoring skills but needs to be given the opportunity to display them consistently with the right linemates. Gill would certainly be of interest to teams seeking a defenseman with playoff experience, while Kostitsyn perhaps might be of interest to the Nashville Predators, who are in the market for a top six forward, and where his brother Sergei now plays. Forget about making the playoffs and becoming first round road kill. It’s time to rebuild. The fact, however, that Gauthier will be the one engineering these moves suggests he might not be replaced this summer, which probably won’t sit well with Habs fans.