The Canadiens short training camp took on some reality Wednesday with the return of Tomas Plekanec to the lineup. Plekanec suffered painful bruised ribs in a Czech Extraliga game at Kladno December 28th against Trinec.
Wednesday was the first time he was able to scrimmage in nineteen days. He appeared to be pain free.
With the Plekanec return, new head coach Therrien for the first time was able to put together a semblance of a lineup in practice with which he would like to open the season against Toronto on Saturday.
These were Wednesday’s training camp lines.
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Cole
Gionta – Plekanec – Galchenyuk
Moen – Eller – Bourque
Prust – White – Armstrong
Extras – Gallagher and Dumont
Diaz – Bouillon
Extras -Tinordi, Weber
………No news on the P.K. Subban front and a contract holdout lasting into the season seems almost a certainty.
We’re not getting any accurate information on the asked or offered figures but it’s safe to say this is a two pronged argument between money amount and length of contract.
The Canadiens hold all of the cards right now. With the hockey club taking a hard financial line, holdout is the only weapon that Subban has at this stage in his career. Everything changes next seaon when Subban earns arbitration rights which the following year would flow into unrestricted free agency.
So we have the standoff and it looks like the Canadiens aren’t going to move too far away from their current offer. Subban now has to consider the damage that might result from a long term holdout. With no contract, he hasn’t been able to train hard and has played no competitive hockey since last spring. He is also missing an amped up training camp being run by a new head coach with new playing system. It is not a good idea to put oneself in the poosition of having to play catch-up in the NHL.
…….Scott Gomez was placed on waivers on Wednesday and will clear at noon Thursday. Then, armed with a 6.2 million dollar check, he’ll be free to find work elsewhere. Surely there’s a team that needs a speedy centreman who knows how to pass the puck, especially if he’s willing to take a one year one million dollar contract. That seems to be the going rate for players who need to restart their career. In July, Colby Armstrong signed a Canadiens contract for that figure hours after Toronto paid three million dollars to buy out the third year of his three year nine million dollar contract. Like Gomez, the offensive part of Armstrong’s game had almost completely disappeared.
For those wondering about how the 6.219 million dollar severance cheque for Gomez was worked out, Francois Gagnon broke it down in Wednesday’ La Presse –
(This season’s prorated) 48 games $3,219,512.20; plus the three million representing 2/3 of the salary he would have received the next year ($ 4.5 million) in the last year of the seven year contract. (Total payout $6,219,512.20)