You Be the Canadiens GM, Question No. 2: The Curious Case of Tomas Plekanec

Kamal PanesarCorrespondent IJune 17, 2010

MONTREAL - MAY 22: Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre on May 22, 2010 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Much has been written since the end of the season about whether the Habs can and will re-sign Tomas Plekanec. Scheduled to become a free agent on July 1st, 2010, Plekanec is coming off of a career season where he put up 70 points and was one of the best two-way players in the league.

The problem is that once again, Plekanec disappeared during the playoffs, from an offensive perspective. While there is no doubting that Plekanec did everything else on the ice, he was inconsistent offensively and was not able to help an anemic Canadiens offensive when they needed him.

While his agent, Rick Curran, publically disagrees, Plekanec's weak playoff offensive performance a couple of years in a row is sure to hurt his market value a little.

But enough about me...

When put to the questions of what to do with Tomas Plekanec this offseason, here is a sampling of what you had to say:

Question#2 - The Curious Case of Tomas Plekanec
1. Plekanec is great, one of my favorites but you're right—he's a Scott Gomez with a better shot who can't win face-offs. He's going to command way too much money in a center-starved league (Tor-Kessel,CLB-Nash,NJ-Parise,Cal-Iginla).

He's going and perhaps for as much as $6 million a season, which is too much for a second second-line center. I don't think his rights are moveable but if you can, move them.

2. As much as it pains me to say it, I think Plekanec has played his last season in Montreal.

There is a huge demand for playmaking centers in this league and someone is going to back up the Brinks truck and throw a ton of money at Plekanec.

It's a case of supply and demand.

The supply of centers does not equal the demand and so Plekanec's value gets artificially pushed up. I don't think he'll take a hometown discount and the money will be too good to pass up for him.

3. I don't see any choice but to sign Pleks, but let's be reasonable, anything over $4.5 million is too much. Habs don't have a replacement in the system for him however.

4. Pleks is a great two-way forward, but we need some size up front. Try and sign him to a four year deal at $4.75 million per. If he takes it see if you can make your team larger by other means. If he wants over $5 million you trade him. Edmonton or Florida would be all over him.

5. Trade the rights if you can and be prepared to let him walk if need be. DO NOT over pay. I might suggest that unless you can get him with a no brainer cheapy-cheap contract, let him walk. He is not "the guy" for me.

6. If he's willing to take $4-4.75 million I'll resign Pleks. Otherwise, he can take his party elsewhere. It's a pity, but there's a cap issue at stake, and we already have Gomez, who is completely unmovable unless one of the other GMs is smoking something illegal.

Consensus: None, with about half the people trading his rights, and half re-signing him.

An interesting note is that of the people wanting to re-sign him, I did not get one that thought that Plekanec was worth more than $5 million a year.

Personally, I think Plekanec and his agent will not settle for anything less than $5 million per season and as such, think there is no way he will sign in Montreal.

Sad, because it is always unfortunate to see a player drafted by your team grow and develop only to leave the organization, but I get the feeling that the Plekanec team is wanting a little more than the Habs want to offer.

For me, the first choice would be to move Gomez's huge contract, re-sign Plekanec, and try to bring in a big first-liner by way of trade. That, however, is a pipe dream as I don't think any GM in the league is about to take Gomez's contract off of the Canadiens' hands.

Since that is the case, I would shop Plekanec's rights and try to get a late first round but more likely a second round pick for him. Then, I'd go out and try to trade for a big No.1 center. Jeff Carter, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Marleau—who might be had by way of free agency—all come to mind and could potentially had by parting ways with either Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price.

So what do you all think? Do you agree with the consensus, or lack thereof? What would you do?

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