Consider it as a suggestion. Obviously it's not a "rumour". I'd be happy if the Habs went after Laich. They'd have to pay a premium salary to land him, and they'd have to let somebody else go to make room. But I'd be ok with both of those things. He's a solid player with some size, and they need somebody like him up front. I expect it would be kind of like the Hartnell free agency situation. You'd be surprised at what he gets if he does actually hit the open market, just because the options are so slim this year, and his type of player is relatively rare. But end of the day, if you pay a "$3M player" $4M, or a "$4M player" $5M, it's still not that much on a $60M cap.
I doubt he hits the open market too. Even if the Caps haven't taken the next step in the playoffs (yet), they're still a good team to play for and he'll keep getting chances to win there.
I don't see how you could start the bidding below $4M? Then it's a matter of picking who you let go from the current payroll plan to fit that. Could be Kostitsyn up front, or let Hamrlik/Wisniewski walk off the D, who knows. By July 1st the situation should be a lot clearer anyway, and Laich will probably have re-signed with Washington by then to make it all moot.
How hard is it to repeat what is actually written?
The guy says the Canadiens are probably going to target him. That doesn't mean the same thing as 'Laich to Montreal' -- it's a free agency wish list, assuming that it's accurate.
For what it's worth, it's not tampering to have a private wish list. It's not tampering if a rumor gets out as to what's on that wish list. It's not tampering for a player to talk to a player under contract or to state openly that he'd love to see a particular player sign with his team.
It's tampering for a team official to talk to the player while he's still under contract, and it's tampering if a team official publicly calls the media horde over and states unequivocally that the team has an interest in a player still under contract. It's tampering for a player to act on behalf of his club in making public statements or direct overtures to player under contract, though of course all but impossible to prove in practice.