Alex Radulov playing contract chicken with Canadiens

When it comes to Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Radulov, we can agree that the 30-year-old right wing had the confidence reaffirming season that GM Marc Bergevin needed to see from him in 2016-17.

He scored 18 goals. He had 36 assists. He was a possession monster (54.2 percent Corsi in 76 games). And, of course, he made curfew.

So the bar was cleared and the assumption was made that Bergevin would re-sign him. That Radulov had earned his new deal after his performance on that one-year “show me” contract.

But what he thinks he’s earned and what the Canadiens think he’s earned are apparently vastly different.

Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports that Radulov is seeking six years at $7 million annually. That would make him the Canadiens’ highest paid forward and second-highest paid player, with a cap hit higher than that of goalie Carey Price.

Unless he mistakenly meant “7 million Rubles” – in which case we’d expect Bergevin to pay that $154,818 Canadian, annually – there’s zero chance to Habs would ever do this deal.

“We have our limits with all players,” said Bergevin on Thursday.

Indeed they do, and Bergevin put it out there: Despite the season Radulov had, and despite their desire to keep him, business is business:


One assumes these sides can come together on something, but Radulov has been talking six-year term for months. The only alternative is to offer something shorter and hope the dollars get him over that lack of term. Maybe four years?

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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