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