Thursday Report: Contract talk and prospect news


Starting today here on The Habs Nation we will be giving our weekly insights every Thursday on trades, contract negotiations, rumors and speculation from the Montreal Canadiens organization.

Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban is in the last year of his two-year $5.75 million dollar bridge contract and is looking for a massive raise. Reports recently suggested that the Habs submitted a 7 year $49 million contract to Subban’s camp but no further progress was made after that. So far it seems like the two sides are close on the term give or take a year difference, most likely depending on the money also. The Habs initially were starting around $6 million per season and Subban was looking for around $8 million plus, the Canadiens have since moved off of that and are now in the low $7 million range.

Andrei Markov is still a Hab and Marc Bergevin is probably more relieved of that outcome than possibly a draft pick and a prospect that was rumored on trade deadline day. The Habs were rumored to have offered Markov a 1 year $6 million contract that Markov quickly shot down. As the trade deadline neared it is believed that Bergevin and his staff were eagerly trying to get Markov signed to settle the two sides by offering a 2 year deal worth around something between $5.75m and $6m. Markov and his agent, former Hab Sergei Berezin, are still set on a minimum of 3 years in term and are possibly willing to take his current $5.75m cap hit, but the Habs don’t seem to be so keen on giving the 35-year-old veteran and 3 year deal.

The great Dane or Larry as they call him has had a tumultuous season ever since his line-mates Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher were removed of his line, coincidence?, I leave that for you to decide. Eller is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1st and is in line for a pay raise, albeit a small one at that. Eller had a fantastic lockout shortened season last year scoring 30 points in 46 games playing in pretty much the same roll he is playing in now. Through 66 games this season Eller has only tallied 21 points a lot which came in the first 20 or so games and hasn’t scored a goal since February 9th. The Habs could probably give Eller 2 year deal around $4 million, $1.75m in the first year and $2m+ in the second year or just send him a qualifying offer and see where it goes from there. There has been some talk that Bergevin would like to get a “feel out process” with Eller and his camp within the next months before diving in serious talks that will come most likely after the playoffs.

Now on to the prospects,

Magnus Nygren who signed a two-year entry-level deal this past May was aiming for the NHL roster but ended up in the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs where ultimately he thought he didn’t belong. Nygren played just 16 games with the Dogs’ before heading back home to Sweden to play for his Swedish club Farjestad of the SHL. Nygren had a few harsh words to describe about the Hamilton Bulldogs and how the team is run along with how he didn’t like the City either. The sense we get from Magnus is that it is Montreal or bust for him, if he doesn’t make the Canadiens roster next year there is a good chance he will head back home to Sweden unless another NHL offer comes his way when his with the Habs expires.

Expect the 23-year-old Greg Pateryn who has been one of the glaring bright spots on the Bulldogs team to be given a contract extension this summer. Pateryn will become a restricted free agent on July 1st and will get a 1-2 two-year deal around $750k – 1.5 million total.

The Montreal Canadiens will have prospects Dalton Thrower and Brady Vail’s rights relinquished if they are not signed by June 1st, 2014 along with College prospects Mac Bennett and Mike Cichy’s rights relinquished if they are not signed by August 15th, 2014. I believe there is a greater chance that the Habs will sign both Thrower and Vail rather than to sign Bennett and Cichy. Although Marc Bergevin, Scott Mellanby and other scouts have been looking at Mac Bennett all season including watching him live while they visited Detroit earlier this year.

There is also forward prospect Erik Nystrom who also had a brief stint in Hamilton this season but then left to play in the KHL whose rights will be relinquished if not signed by June 1st, 2014. I don’t see the Habs extending him an offer with all the forward depth they have now.

Also look to guys like Martin Reway, Connor Crisp and maybe even Mark MacMillan (another College prospect) to be given entry-level deals during this off-season.