P.K. Subban's agent Don Meehan said Friday that to this point, he and Habs general manager Marc Bergevin “have had some discussions, but only in terms of parameters” about talks toward a new deal for the restricted free-agent rearguard.
Photograph by: Dario Ayala, Gazette File Photo
MONTREAL - Contract talks between defenceman P.K. Subban and the Canadiens will likely begin next week.
And anyone holding their breath awaiting an announcement on a new deal for goaltender Carey Price might wish to exhale – that is, if you’re to believe the netminder.
Some reports since Thursday, following the signing of Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to a 10-year contract, have had Price almost with his pen on the dotted line of a six- or seven-year deal with an annual cap hit of $6-6.5 million.
On Friday, via text message, Price said only that a new contract “hopefully (will) be done in a couple weeks.”
Price’s agent, Edmonton-based Gerry Johannson, was incommunicado.
Meanwhile, Subban agent Don Meehan said Friday that to this point, he and Habs general manager Marc Bergevin “have had some discussions, but only in terms of parameters” about talks toward a new deal for the restricted free-agent rearguard.
Meehan expects to sit over this holiday weekend in his Toronto offices with Subban and the player’s parents to discuss the direction they’d like contract talks to go.
“Then,” Meehan said, “we’ll make a call to Montreal to get engaged. We’re just getting our ducks in order.”
With a player of Subban’s profile and his importance to the Canadiens, Meehan expects to speak with Bergevin both by phone and in person as their talks progress.
Subban was one of 10 restricted free agents to whom Bergevin extended a qualifying offer this past Monday, the starting point for contract discussions.
One of those players, Meehan-represented forward Ryan White, was signed Tuesday to a one-year, $687,500 contract.
“Given all the considerations with Ryan, one year appeared to be best for Montreal and ourselves, and we’re both very happy,” Meehan said.
White stumbled out of the gate at training camp last September, suffering a sports hernia that kept him out of the lineup for the first 57 games. This week, he declared himself fit and training hard for the 2012-13 season.
Meehan also represents Canadiens RFA defencemen Rafael Diaz and Alexei Emelin. The founder of hockey-agency colossus Newport Sports Management spoke optimistically about the fact he’s “negotiating actively” with the Habs on behalf of the pair.
A report Friday said the agent of UFA defenceman Chris Campoli would not be offered a contract and was free to shop his services elsewhere.
There has been great angst among Canadiens fans in recent days about a lack of news regarding a new contract for Subban, a popular, charismatic defenceman who with goalie Price is in many ways the face of the organization.
Should an RFA be unsigned by Sunday’s opening of unrestricted free agency, any team can submit an offer sheet, the player’s team then obligated to match the offer if they wish to keep the athlete.
But given the current labour climate of the NHL, which on Friday tiptoed into negotiations with the players toward a new collective agreement, few agents believe the offer sheet will be any kind of factor in contracts.
Meehan expressed no worry that his talks on behalf of Subban, Diaz and Emelin will or might spill beyond the July 1 opening of UFA season.
“I’m not concerned with the time frame,” he said.
Meehan brightly discussed the unique client that is Subban, who in 160 NHL games has become a beaming delight or Public Enemy No. 1, depending on a fan’s allegiance.
“He’s enthusiastic, vibrant and plays with an edge,” Meehan said.
The superagent hears the thoughts that a little seasoning and maturation will greatly help the 23-year-old, and the words of Subban’s former mentor, Hal Gill, who said the youngster doesn’t need repair as much as guidance to keep his focus.
“As Hal says, P.K. doesn’t need fixing. He needs refining,” Meehan said.
The Canadiens’ late afternoon signing Friday of Travis Moen to a four-year contract wasn’t the team’s only announcement of the day.
The club also unveiled former defenceman Jean-Jacques Daigneault as an assistant coach for Michel Therrien, presumably to work with the blue-liners. Daigneault played 18 NHL seasons and won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993. He was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack for the past five seasons.
In Brossard, the Canadiens’ three-day development camp wraps up Saturday with two on-ice sessions open to the public. Highly touted No. 3 overall pick Alex Galchenyuk, the Habs’ six other 2012 draft choices, two earlier picks and five invited on a tryout basis will skate at the Bell Sports Complex from 10:30 a.m. until noon, then from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
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