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.