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Souray, A Hab To Stay?

I've been saying this all along - that Sheldon Souray and Andrei Markov want to remain Montreal Canadiens.

Funny that as the Maple Leafs are now history for 2007, as dead as the Canadiens this season, the true story finally breaks through.

It's not exactly news to me!

The rumour mongers such as Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, who believes things written about his Mom on the bathroom wall, it seems, will be devastated and disappointed on this one.

He's been boosting the Souray to the California area BS since the seasons start. My gripe with him ought to be personal!

Point of fact: Los Angeles Kings GM and coach, Dean Lombardi and Marc Crawford are both on record as stating they are not enamored with Souray's overall game. If you are a hockey fan outside of Montreal, you likely see it as they do also. I understand why they would see it that way. It has to do with long distance perceptions not always being exact, but that's a whole other argument for July 1st.

Points 2 & 3: Anaheim already has both Pronger and Neidermayer, would they spend close to 19 million on three defenseman? Would that make the Ducks better? Didn't think so! Sharks GM Doug Wilson, has he yet to foolishly roll the dice long term? Doesn't he have Patrick Marleau to ink still?

Souray will not, repeat not, be going to California.

It is of course entirely possible the Canadiens offer him a deal that does not suit him, and he moves on, but nothing Souray has said, or ever suggested, points to him wanting to leave Montreal.

Those Garrioch, Steve Simmons types, spend too much time reading columns that begin with , "Dear Liz."

The smoke fanning the flames for the Souray talk, has for a few years now, encompased his difficult and sometimes troubled relationship with former Baywatch actress Alicia Bridges. It was gossip best filed under "Sex, Lies, and Videotape". The couple had a daughter, making Souray's sporadic visits less than he wished. There were allegations by false alligators, charges filed and withdrawn, and lo and behold the couple have been brought back together and are expecting a second child.

The Sourays were seen house shopping in Montreal not that long ago, and when that was revealed, the defenseman was asked the inevitable question and responded with an "unfinished business" quote regarding the Canadiens and his future.

Maybe someone's finally tied all these facts together...who knows?

The latest quotes by the new record holder for PPG's by a defenseman, in the aftermath of the Habs elimination, have been noted at several sources including this one.

It reads:
Potential free-agent defencemen Sheldon Souray and Andrei Markov both say they hope to remain with the Montreal Canadiens next season.

The club's top two veterans on the blue-line can become unrestricted free agents on July 1 and speculation has been rife that Souray will move on.

''The priority is to give Montreal a real good chance of signing me,'' Souray said Monday as the team met at the Bell Centre two days after they were eliminated from the NHL playoffs.
''We have lots of time. There's three months before anything has to be done. Montreal has been really good and I hope our relationship continues. I love Montreal. It's a challenge, but I enjoy playing here. But it's a business and we'll see what happens.''

Souray set an NHL record for defencemen with 19 power-play goals, helping the Canadiens post the league's best success rate with the man advantage.

Despite his defensive woes - he was minus-28 - he is expected to draw big money offers on the open market.

The other point is manned by 28-year-old Markov, the team's best two-way defenceman.

''It's not all about the money,'' Markov said. ''I like Montreal.

''It's a great team, great fans. I want to play on this team.''
Gainey is expected to give an indication of where the Canadiens are headed when he meets with the media on Tuesday. Montreal missed the playoffs for the fifth time in eight seasons.

Read more here, here, and here, if you are fluent in french, this La Presse piece is not be skipped.