It seems that many posters here are leery of re-signing our potential UFAs, if not outright opposed to the idea.
Name after name is called "overrated", with the possible exception of Markov. We should not "overpay" for them. "Let them walk", or better yet, "trade them quick before they leave us". Even when a player is deemed good, he is expected to WANT to leave because "hardly anyone ever wants to play in Montreal". Or else, "he is only playing well because he is in his contract year".
Past moves to re-sign players are also criticized as "excessive", such as Koivu, Bouillon and Kovalev.
Finally, recent moves to sign incoming free agents such as Dandenault and Samsonov are termed, guess what...."overpayments".
Meanwhile......in the coming years, free agency will arrive younger and younger. The Habs, like all teams, will have less time to "milk" their youngsters and the relatively lower salaries they command. So.....what will we do? Just watch all the "greedy players" leave? Sign them all to contract extensions before they get to (gasp) "their contract year" (can we even do that?)?
I would like to hear some suggestions regarding how the payroll and assets should be managed.
So, my understanding of your position is that in the future, we should only re-sign players whose last name is "Markov". The rest of the players should go to some very hot and unpleasant place.
Is that correct?
What's the point, we have no say on who gets signed and who doesnt', so who cares what the fans think or want. A lot of talk lately is just hot air. If this team never hit a slump most of these posts blasting the players wouldn't exist.
I won't pretend to know what the Habs official policy regarding UFAs is... but I hate the idea that we should just let our UFAs just walk because we assume they will cost too much. I mean UFAs cost the same to all teams and unless there is youngster that can realistically take their place, someone needs to be signed or traded for as a replacement.
Applying this to the habs current situation... they need to try to sign both markov and souray... Do we really think Cote can fill either of their roles even close to adequately? Do we think that Markov and Souray are the only UFA defenseman of their caliber that will command large salaries? If the player doesn't want to sign here its another story and its out of anyones control, but the habs should at least try. Perhaps a buyout of samsonov would help with cap issues.
Overpayment is inevitable. It's just a premium you have to pay for UFA veterans. Good teams make that back on their captive RFAs. I mean, Plekanec is making 450k this year. Higgins is making less than a million, and Komisarek is barely over a million. Ultimately it's about the best team you can put together for a fixed dollar amount, and less than about how each dollar is distributed according to absolute merit.
The idea of overpaying to retain UFAs also has to be nuanced by a kind of opportunity cost, a what-else-you-could-get for the same, less, or even more money. There aren't many Souray types around, and nothing in the system will soften the blow of losing him. Is it better to not overpay, but to keep the extra 6 million that you can't even spend on a worthwhile replacement? It won't do any good to sign 3 Dan McGillises to fill in for one Souray.
It's also types of players. Jason Ward was cut loose because he didn't want to play for the minimum. Big deal. Those types of players are everywhere. Bonk is a slightly harder case. Is he worth 2.5 million (guessing the number)? Maybe it's better to entrust Plekanec and Lapierre with the 3rd and 4th line duties and spend more on a Lang or aim much higher and take a run at Briere or Drury. OTOH, Johnson seems to me like a good investment for about 2 million, as there just aren't as many veteran wingers out there who could fill exactly his role for that (guessing) very fair price.