TSN.ca Staff
5/27/2009 9:48:01 AM

A Russian sports newspaper reports that the Montreal Canadiens have offered the team’s captaincy to pending unrestricted free agent Alex Kovalev and that Saku Koivu is no longer in plans for the team.

According to Sovietsky Sport, the Canadiens don’t intend to re-sign Koivu and would opt to re-sign Kovalev to a one-year deal worth between $6 million and $7.5 million. The story also claims that Kovalev would be awarded the captaincy.

The paper adds that Kovalev wants to remain with the Canadiens and negotiations with the team would continue when he returns from holiday. Sovietsky also reports that the Canadiens offered defenceman Mike Komisarek a multi-year contract worth $4 million per season, but the pending unrestricted free agent is holding out for $6 million per season.

Koivu, 34, has been the Canadiens second-longest serving captain. His nine seasons with the ‘C’ trails only the legendary Jean Beliveau, who was captain for 10 seasons.

“If I’m not signed by July 1, I don’t think I’ll be back in Montreal,” Koivu said last month. “Finishing your career with one team would be awesome in a way, but it’s too early to say because I don’t know what the team’s plan is. We lost yesterday, so I need time to sit down with my family and figure out what’s best for us.”

Koivu, Kovalev and Komisarek are among 10 Canadiens regulars heading toward unrestricted free agency on July 1. Forwards Alex Tanguay, Robert Lang and Tom Kostopoulos and defencemen Mathieu Schneider, Francis Bouillon, Patrice Brisebois and Mathieu Dandenault are also slated to be free agents.

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  • Number31

    I dunno about this rumor, especially don’t know about the pricetag for Kovy (doesn’t make much sense), but the one about Komo annoys me… That’s his agent talking, not Komo. A few days after the Habs were done, he mentioned Komo would go for like 6million…which frankly is insanity for a player like him.

    If Komo is worth 6/season…Markov is worth 10.

  • rob

    I’m extremely skeptical about this. If Gainey returns as G.M. he may sign Kovalev, but there is not much to indicate that he will. All is pending on the team sale, and if it goes through, I think there is about an 80% chance Gainey gets the axe. No one but Gainey seems to think much of Kovalev, particularly as a captain. He is about the last guy on the team I would plant the C on, much less plant 6 mill per season on. Stupider things have happened, and if Gainey is G.M. all bets are off, but I have to think that sanity will prevail at some point.