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08-28-2013, 12:55 PM
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Sam I Am
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Habs' UFA D-men -- A Time Bomb!

I don't remember much discussion about this but at the end of the upcoming season, 5 of our current roster defensemen will be UFAs. They are:

Markov
Emelin
Murray
Diaz
Bouillon

Added to this list is PK Subban who will be a RFA and in line for a huge raise. Assuming that Frankie B retires at the end of the season, that still leaves 5 of our top 7 top dmen looking for new, and in many cases, larger contracts. Amongst significant defensemen only Gorges is locked in for the long term.

Obviously, PK's deal is the top priority. But Emelin's is also very critical. We really cannot afford to allow him to walk. Markov will be retained if it can be done at a reasonable salary. But if he goes the UFA route--or is part of a deadline deal--signing Diaz becomes a priority, presuming his play this season justifies the investment.

Sure we got defencemen on the farm. Tinordi is knocking at the door. Beaulieu is offensively gifted but a real adventure in his own zone. Nygren, Dietz, Thrower, Ellis, Bennett--who really knows?

Without PK, Emelin and a couple of other NHL-tested blue-liners secured with new deals, the Habs are going to be in for a very rude awakening come next season.

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