After doing something GM’s don’t often do in Montreal, disappear for a while, it appears that Canadiens GM Bob Gainey is once again getting down to business. Wednesday afternoon, the team announced the re-signing of D Mark Streit, to a 2 year deal, reportedly worth $600,000 per season. Last season, the Swiss defender had 2 goals and 9 assists in 48 games during his rookie campaign. That’s not all that Gainey’s been up to in the past few days though.
On Monday, the team re-upped with a trio of players, Steve Begin (3 years), Aaron Downey (1 year), and Garth Murray (2 years). In the case of the first 2 players, they delayed testing the UFA waters (at various times) to re-sign with the team.
Elsewhere, the team announced that it has begun contract talks with its 2 significant unrestricted free agents, G Cristobal Huet and D Francis Bouillon. Also, it was confirmed that wingers Jan Bulis and Niklas Sundstrom would not be offered deals to return, the latter agreeing to a contract overseas.
In related news, the NHL announced Wednesday that the negotiating moratorium with unrestricted free agents (June 15-July 1) has been lifted for this season, although it will be revisited afterwards. This means that the team can continue to negotiate with the aforementioned “important 2,” as well as making it easier to trade a UFA’s rights, or conversely, trade for one.