HabsWorld.net -- 

There are numerous reports that the Habs are on the verge of signing
defenceman Hal Gill to a one year contract extension, believed to be worth $2.25
million which is what he made the past two seasons.  Although the Habs at
this time have not officially acknowledged the signing, they have acknowledged
the reports.  In other news, Nigel Dawes and Dustin Boyd are both leaving
the team, they are KHL bound.

Gill joined Montreal two years ago on that memorable July 1st where the
direction of the organization shifted significantly.  In those two seasons,
he played 168 games picking up 21 points (4-17-21) along with 133 PIMS.  He
served as an alternate captain and has been a positive presence in the locker
room as evidenced by the fact that two other defencemen (Josh Gorges and P.K.
Subban) both openly campaigned for his return right after the Habs were
eliminated by Boston.

If the reports prove to be true, this will give Montreal a third NHL’er under
contract, the others being Jaroslav Spacek and P.K. Subban.  Prospects
Alexei Yemelin and Raphael Diaz are also signed while Josh Gorges and Yannick
Weber, both restricted free agents, are also expected to return.

The Hamilton Bulldogs will be suffering a great loss with the departure of
their two veteran NHL’ers.  Boyd was the last remaining piece of last
offseason’s Sergei Kostitsyn trade.  He played 10 games with Montreal
picking up a single goal before clearing waivers (twice) and spending the rest
of the season with the Bulldogs.  Between the season and playoffs, he
played 67 games for Hamilton, tallying 25 goals and 20 assists. 

Dawes came over as part of the Brent Sopel deal completed with Atlanta just
before the NHL’s trade deadline.  Between the two teams, he was a part of
13 NHL games where he had just one assist.  It was his acquisition that
sparked Hamilton’s long playoff run as he quickly became one of the league’s
biggest scoring threats.  In 39 games with the Dogs (season and playoffs),
he had 28 goals and 22 assists.  Both players have signed with Barys
Astana, a KHL team in Kazakhstan.  They remain property of the Canadiens as
long as they receive qualifying offers prior to July 1st.