It's because he is an above average center that has represented the franshise for too long. We need new blood. Gainey has a unique chance to change the face of this franchise this summer and I hope to god he doesn't screw it up.
the fact is, the "new blood" vanished last year. Kostitsyn, Higgins, Plekanec and Komisarek along with Price were supposed to be the Franchise unfortunately not a single one them took reigns.
This applies to Kovalev as well as he and Koivu should have been passing the torch yet the youngsters didn't take it.
The good part is Plex will be less expensive to keep, as Higgins will too because they played so bad this season...this will be a good thing in the end. More money to spend elsewhere. And I do think they will have better seasons next year...at a lower salary. Plex will stay or signed and traded.