Double D

The Habs plugged a couple of holes on defense, signing Andrei Markov and Mark Streit to two-year and one-year deals respectively.

Markov's cap figure will be $1.75M, which is pretty reasonable. Skoula makes $1.5M, Lydman $1.9M, Sopel $2.4M, Poti $2.35M, Kaberle $2.3M. Unfortunately, Markov is scheduled to become a UFA in precisely two years.

Several years ago Brian Raflaski joined the Devils after beginning his career and maturing in Europe. He immediately fit in with one of the best blueline brigades in the league, and even surpassed Niedermayer's offensive production over the time they shared in NJ. I'm not suggesting Mark Streit will be the next Raflaski - merely that he may turn out to be more than a bit player, especially in the *New and Improved* NHL. According to an article in the Gazette, Gainey is very big on Streit. Here are some stats from the Swiss league, for reference:

Streit also had 7 points in 7 games at the WHCs in May.

Here's a nice article on Canadiens.com, in which mentions the Zidlicky, Timonen and Rafalski route to the NHL.

Not bad, for a guy with one leg


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