Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Canadiens Qualify Six; Sundin News; Minor Trade

The Habs have tendered qualifying offers to six skaters, including Andrei Kostitsyn.

However, Kostitsyn's agent, Don Meehan, stated that the Habs and his client will likely ink a longer-term extension within the week.

Also qualified were forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Corey Locke, defencemen Ryan O'Byrne and Josh Gorges, and goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Extending qualifying offers guarantees that these potential RFA's can be resigned by Montreal if another team offers them an offer-sheet contract after July 1st. The Habs now own the right to match any offer thrown at the players mentionned above.

The players have until July 15th to accept or decline the qualifying offer.

It appears that no offers have been made as of yet to impending unrestricted free agents Mark Streit, Patrice Brisebois, Michael Ryder and Bryan Smolisnki. The MATS SUNIN saga might be playing a major role in that.

It is rumoured that Canadiens GM Bob Gainey has offered Sundin a two-year, $7 million per year contract. According to Pierre McGuire, sepaking on the Team990 with Mitch Melnyk, just the fact that Sundin hasn't already jumped on the offer is significant. He also stated that if Sundin doesn't sign with Montreal by July 1st, he'll be headed off to NY to join the Rangers. That is a little mysterious as other reports indicate that NY don't envision Sundin in their plans.

Finally, a minor trade to report: The Senators dealt tough guy Brian McGratton to Phoenix for a 5th round pick in 2009.

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