Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sergei On Waivers......

1) The news of the late evening was the placing on waivers of underachieving Montreal forward Sergei Samsonov. Many were surprised by this move, as some had the Habs trying to trade away the cranky Russian, especially after he was held out of the lineup for the Canadians last game So many were taken a back when Bob Gainey decided to instead place Samsonov on waivers.

2) What does this all mean? Well, do NOT expect Sergei to be picked up by anyone. There are 3.75 million reasons. That being Samsonov's salary for NEXT season, in addition to the remainder of this year. With his paltry production he simply is NOT worth even 1/2 that figure. Which brings us to the next issue. Will he be allowed to come back through "re-entry waivers".

3) The new CBA is a bit complicated, but if the Habs demote Samsonov, he can not be recalled unless he passes through re-entry waivers. If a team snaps him up then, the Habs would be on the hook for 1/2 of his remaining salary, and lose the player for nothing. Even at that, we believe there will be few takers even at that reduced rate for the over paid Russian

4) We believe the Canadians are hoping the Russian declines going to the AHL, allowing the Habs to suspend the forward, eliminating his salary both on their cap and payroll entirely. Since he is under 35 the Canadiens could conceivably keep him demoted all next season without it counting against their cap even if he did report to the AHL(Which we feel is unlikely)

5) What this does is frees up considerable cap space for the Habs to add that second line center they have been trying to add. Published reports have mentioned Smolinski, and this remains a possibility, but Gainey has also his eyes on impending free agent center Petr Sykora of Edmonton. If the Oliers fall out of contention BG will try hard to pry the Czech center away from the Oil as a playoff rental

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