Take a look at the recent signings in the NHL this offseason, and you'll see many defensemen commanding a large sum of money for their services.
Mark Streit in Long Island—$4.1 million a year for four years, the highest paid Islander D-man.
Brian Campbell in Chicago—$7.1 million a year for five years.
Wade Redden in Ranger blue—$6.5 million a year for four years.
And just recently, Dennis Wideman in Beantown—$15.75 million over four years?
Wideman was a stalwart defenseman on the Boston Bruin blueline this season, playing in 81 games, notching 13 goals, and adding 23 assists and 70 PIMs.
But for a D-man of his caliber to be getting that much, how much do you think Montreal stalwart D-man Mike Komisarek will command when he's up for a new contract next summer?
Wideman's stats are good—yet Komisarek is a monster on the ice.
Komisarek was second in the NHL with 266 hits, second only to L.A. Kings forward Dustin Brown with 311. Komisarek's ice time per game was 21:09 while Wideman's was at 25:09. Komisarek's point totals are much lower than Wideman's, four goals and 13 assists, but Komisarek had more PIMs—101.
Both defensemen are number-two D-men on their respective teams, behind Andrei Markov and Zdeno Chara. Yet, the salary that Wideman has just received map put a Komisarek re-signing into the $4 to $5 million-a-year range—up from the $1.9 million he will be making this season.
Either way, the Canadiens will be paying a pretty penny to keep their defensive corps intact next summer with Mathieu Dandenault and Francis Bouillon also up for contract renewals. Yet Komisarek will be at the top of the Canadiens list to re-up, because of his physicality and looming presence on the ice.
After a stellar 75-game season in 2007-08, Komisarek is due for a true breakout season—both in hits and in the offensive categories.
With the loss of Mark Streit, the Canadiens need to keep Komisarek there. If not, the Canadiens will lose a very large presence on defense. With softer defensemen such as Andrei Markov in the lineup, Komisarek is what the Canadiens need at the back end.