Updates on the Canadiens and Blackhawks.

Canadiens to talk contract with Andrei Markov, but could they also keep Wisniewski? Which players could the Blackhawks re-sign?

MONTREAL GAZETTE: reported the Canadiens and defenseman Andrei Markov will start contract talks in the coming weeks, as Markov’s agent Don Meehan confirmed he’ll meet with Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier at the end of May.

LA PRESSE: Marc Antoine Godin reports Canadiens UFA blueliner James Wisniewski said he’s more interested in playing for a winner than in going somewhere just for the money. Wisniewski said he loved his experience in Montreal and would like to stay, adding he feels it wouldn’t take much for the Canadiens to become a league power. He also acknowledged the team has to consider re-signing Andrei Markov plus P.K. Subban will be due a significant raise after next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Habs are unable to re-sign Markov they could turn to Wisniewski as a replacement. His future in Montreal could well depend on what happens with Markov’s contract talks.

CHICAGO DAILY HERALD: Tim Sassone reports  Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has some tough decisions to make this summer, including which restricted free agent to keep. Corey Crawford and Michael Frolik are obvious keepers. They could retain the hard-hitting Troy Brouwer if his salary requests are reasonable. Jake Dowell could potentially become an odd man out due to the salary cap. Chris Campoli could also return if his salary requests are reasonable, but if Bowman opts to deal from a position of strength to address needs at forwards, he could consider moving either Campoli or Niklas Hjalmarsson. Sassone also believed Viktor Stalberg could be affordable to retain. He also doubts pending UFAs Marty Turco, Tomas Kopecky and Fernando Pisani will be back, chances are 50-50 Jordan Hendry will return, and while Ryan Johnson was a good fit centering their fourth line, but there could be other clubs willing to pay more to sign him.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Adam L. Jahns reports Campoli played through the Blackhawks first round series with an injured right knee. He’d love to remain with the Blackhawks and Bowman has suggested he could be more than a playoff rental player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think they’ll retain Brouwer and Campoli, especially if their salary demands are affordable. It’ll also depend on how much it costs to re-sign Crawford and Frolik.


  1. Seeing as Hjalmarsson’s name keeps coming up in trade rumours, I’m guessing that the Hawks in hindsight should have taken the compensation for the offer sheet? Although, with the way San Jose is playing, that first round pick might end up being 30th overall.

  2. Markov is just damaged goods now I think. Unless he’s looking to take a pay cut to stay in Montreal (doubtful) focus on Wisniewski. He played really well for us, and is just hitting is prime. With PK stepping it up, our need for Markov isn’t as great (managed to do pretty good without him this year)

    With Markov and Hamerlik gone, that’s roughly 12 million off the books, more then enough to sign Wisniewski long term, and have help to have money to be able to up Price and PK down the road.

    My 2 cents.

  3. Has anyone heard a medical expert comment on the Markov knee? I’m curious what’s expected of his recovery, and if even that means anything. Tough decision for Gaulthier. I was leaning to resigning Markov, now I’m more for Wisniewski. Of course, i don’t know what either guy wants in terms of $’s and length, which changes everything.

  4. I tend to agree that Boudreau is gone and basically only Brooks Laich gets an offer. Laich didn’t win a hefty 4 mil deal with his play against Tampa or his face-off work usually a strong part of his game. Injury?

    The biggest part of the Capital personal puzzle has to be the goaltending position. Neuvirth looked suspect all year at times, Varlamov never got uninjured for long and Braden Holtby may be yet the 3rd young gaoler to be rushed. Everything points to an outside veteran, with one or more of the others being packaged fro immediate help.

    Add Capitals’ George McPhee to the growing list of GMs in need of huge quick-change jobs that financially fit sandwiched around high-salaried core players.

  5. I still feel the Habs have a good shot at signing Wisniewski if they trade Spacek for a mid-to-low round draft pick. Taking Hamrlik off the books saves $5.5M and trading Spacek would open up $3.83M more. I think you could sign Wisniewski for $4.5M (maybe $5M) and put Weber into the lineup.

    While it might make for a minor downgrade on defence for this year, Weber will improve and it saves the Habs around $3.5M in cap space which is great – especially with Price & Subban RFAs after next season.

  6. First of all you need to build from the defence up. Like Gauther said “It’s better to have more options rather than less options.” In my opinion first of all is trying to do something with the Spacek contract. I dont think anyone will take it but somehow get rid of it. Gorges is a necessity to this team, and signing Hal Gill is not the worst idea since he was a big guy for this team, and i mean that literally. I think Weber deserves a chance at this team and Markov for the right price could be brought in. As for Mara, Wisniewski and Sopel, i enjoyed watching everyone of them but I think Wisniewski deserves a contract more. And i would give Mathieu Carle a chance to play or try and bring over Alexei Yemelin with some deal of staying here. We need to be careful in spending our money because we have Price and Subban in the next summer to re-sign. I like our forwards and I would love to see if Gauthier will do something about Kostitsyn and if so, what will happen and who we bring in. Defence is the number 1 thing to focus on though.

    Very excited to see what happens.
    And give Gomez a chance, he recognized his wrongs.


    I don’t really care***

    Please comment back ! :)

  7. Signing markov to a one year deal is he right way to go……then he can be evaluated and if he gets hurt again he can be cut loose and no harm no foul, and there is money to sign your key guys….the wiz will be tough to bring back , however, as a few teams have him in their sights.
    Its gut check time for Pierre Gauthier.
    Send gomez down to the minors, trade him(next to impossible) or buy him out!!!
    its the only way you can sign wiz, and make improvements to your club

  8. As I commented in a previous rumor thread, Spacek can be traded (IMO) and it would be beneficial to trade him for next to nothing. His salary goes directly to Wiz plus 700K (4.5 mill-5 yrs). Markov gets a one year deal at the same price. Gill gets 1.25 mill-2 yrs. Gorges gets 3 mill-5 years. Subban and Weber stay in. Then we cut Pouliot out, if Kostitsyn wants more then 2.75 then trade him too. Over pay for Brooks Laich (4 million-4 yrs) and give Gomez one more year to play then see if theres a non-penalized buy out period with a new CBA, if there is then Gomez is gone and Eller steps in (or a affordable second line veteran). If Gomez continues to under produce then they will make him play for Hamilton. This will free up more then enough cap space for Price (4.5 mill-10 yrs) and Subban (4.5 mill-10 yrs). Either way, you resign the Wiz first. Then work out the rest. Man, how am I NOT the GM of the Habs!?! lol jk =)