Every off-season, there is a player who is ridiculously overpaid for what he offers. This year will be no different. A few years ago it was Ryan Malone. This season it will be Tomas Plekanec. Quite honestly the best center on the Candiens squad, it boggles the mind how they have not locked him up long term already. Any team wanting to bring him in had better have the check book ready, because in a class of underwhelming mediocrity, Plekanec has shown some ability to distinguish himself.
Is Plekanec coming to Minnesota? Is he the answer? Make the jump and find out what we said. Then, make your own prediction.
#14 / Center / Montreal Canadiens
Oct 31, 1982
|2009 - Tomas Plekanec||82||25||45||70||5||50||3||1||4||0||216||11.6|
Current Cap Hit: $2.75 million
Nathan: If you think Tomas Plekanec is coming through that door, you are sorely mistaken. He's proven this season that he is a bona fide top-line centerman. Now, the Wild do not need a top-line center, but holy crap would Plekanec look great in the second slot. Make no mistake, Plekanec will be WAY overpaid, simply because there isn't another free agent on the market even close to his caliber. Unfortunately, that means that teams will break the bank to pick him up. He's not overly big, isn't ridiculously fast, but has exceptional vision, and has shown that he can carry a team on his back. This is exactly what you want from an offensive center. Yes, I'd pay $5.5M for him, but it won't matter, because someone is going to give him $7M. He's a fortunate man to be in this class.
Verdict: 3 years, $5.5/year, and it won't even be close to enough.
Buddha: An amazing option, but alas, will not happen. A respectable faceoff man at 49%, he could certainly get better. A +5 rating would sadly rank him first on this year's Wild squad. 70 points... ah 70 points... would have put him one behind Mikko Koivu for the team lead. What are you willing to pay Mikko Koivu? $5 million? Whatever number you put out there, you better be prepared to pay Plekanec the same amount. Is he as good as Koivu? That has yet to be seen, but as an UFA and in this class, he will, repeat WILL get Koivu type money. Are you willing to lock $5 million into a second line center? It makes the team immediately better, but what do you do then when Bouchard comes back?
A $5 million price tag may be workable, but it is doubtful. If it can be done, make it long term. This kid is pretty good.
Verdict: 4 years, $5 million per.
JS: Tomas Plekanec: Ugh... a Hab... well... that's what I said about G-Lat isn't it? Never know! Plekanec had a really good year this year, netting 25 goals and 45 assists for 70 points in 82 games and was a solid enough 49% in the faceoff circle (could improve though)... the thing is, in his last 4 years, he had 47, 69, 39 and 70 points, but he only missed 4 games in that span. His cap hit this year was $2,750,000, which is likely to rise quite a bit. I initially thought the Habs would have trouble re-signing Plekanec, Halak AND Pouliot, but now that Pouliot turned out sucky (which is what he always was), maybe he won't be much of a problem, leading me to believe Plekanec will re-sign with MTL, but Halak's going to demand a big raise if he even stays in MTL, so who knows? If he's available, I say we jump on him, at the best possible price. He would be a perfect candidate for the 2nd spot IMO and I don't remember him ever actually playing on a line with BTE before, so maybe they could compliment each other well...To sum it up, to me, he's the best option we have in the FA pool, but we may not even have a chance to try and snatch him.
Verdict: 3 years, 4.5 - 5 million per year.