Unless I'm mistaken, Markov's next contract can technically be renewed as of July 1st. So there's absolutely no reason we can't ask ourselves why Gauthier has yet to do it and pester him from being so slow.
With Hamrlik's contract off the hook, I don't think it's a question of if we can sign him, but more of for how much. We'll need to replace Hamrlik but we could go a much cheaper route since we'll still have Markov-Spacek-Subban as a top-3 which is fair, especially if Subban becomes what we want him to become.
So, how much? And for how long? I think he could easily fetch 8M+ on the open market (think of what Campbell, a worst defenseman, got a few years ago), but then, Markov has just became a Canadian citizen and always said he wanted to remain in Montreal, so I see him signing early and for some kind of hometown discount - same situation as his first contract.
I see something like 6.5-7 as a base salary. With Plekanec signing a 6 years contract, it seems Gauthier may be more inclined to give long term deals, and for me Markov is a guy I would be ready for "habs for life" treatment, so hopefully he could sign a 8-years deal (going to his 40), with a decreasing salary in the end to bring down his cap space.
But then, with the emergence of Subban, maybe we don't really want to sign Markov anymore, and trade him for wealth instead?
I'm pretty sure he won't get a big raise, I'm looking of a similar contract max 6 milion a year. I don't see Markov going anywhere...4 to 5 years....
The last time he was hitting the free market he sign at low price market for montreal, I really think he wants to be here...he's a canadian citizen !
I wouldn't offer him a thing until he's able to keep himself on the ice for more than 25 games at a level of play the Habs are used to seeing. And if there was an inkling he wasn't going to sign hopefully the Habs would be shopping him.
Long time Hab or not what has he really accomplished in the playoffs? He seems like a great guy and has terrific vision but when the going gets tough I really worry about the guy. I also wonder how much of a "fragile" perception there is around the league now. Before he kinda flew under the radar but I fear with his perceived fragility he'll become more of a target.
I understand the cut was an accident of sorts but he's taken three hits in the last year that have resulted in significant injuries. The end of last year, before the Olympic break and of course against Pittsburgh were times when he did not successfully protect himself. And had he not been injured twice at the end of a season as opposed to the beginning or middle, just how much time would he have really missed by now? A ton IMO.
I honestly can say I'm not interested in giving a long term contract until he's given more on the ice.
I don't. The reason you get a long term contract is to lower the cap hit. We wouldn't sign Markov to a 7 year contract to pay him 6M a year... Because that's his market value(ish) in his prime. He won't be worth 6M when he's 40. If we signed him to a 7-year conract it would be something like 8-8-6-6-3-2-1 (34M - 4.86 cap hit), maybe a bit more, but not much more.
Hopefully we'll offer him a long-term, front loaded deal that will have him finish off his career with the Canadiens.
Yeah...at this point, Markov is the only player we should sign for a long enough period of time in order to decrease his cap hit. I'm not really a fan of those contracts, but it would really help us in the long run. I also believe Markov would be willing to sign for a long period of time because he'll only get older, and you never know what can happen in a season. Markov should know that more than anyone. I can't see him leaving and I hope he'll be a life time Habs.
I think I'd be looking at a 3 yr $18-20 Million deal. It could be tempting to sign him for more like 6-8 years assuming he'll play into his late 30's but he has shown himself to be a bit fragile in the past few seasons.
As for cap hit, you'd have to compare him to guys like:
It's amazing how some people don't seem to understand how to use a front-loaded contract... The whole point of circumventing the CBA is by paying him a legit salary while he plays, and then "paying" him a ridiculously low amount of money because you assume he will have retired. You can't offer a 4 or 5 yr contract, front-loaded, to a guy who is 31.
As much as I hate this loop hole, PG would be very stupid not to take advantage of it. I would offer him an 10 year contract, since it's still "reasonable" to think a D can play at 42 years of age.
4.12 cap hit.
Again, it's too bad such a loophole exists, but hell it's not illegal. Not taking advantage of this by a GM is foolish and stupid.