June 3, 2018 | 5:46pm ET
PLEKANEC MAY RETURN TO MONTREAL
Tomas Plekanec, centre
The Montreal Canadiens have made it clear they want to bolster their centre position, and finding a No.1 centre is at the top of the club’s priority list.
As the Habs look to bring in a top line centre, the team also has other holes both on the blueline and up the middle, as Phillip Danault, a pending restricted free agent, is the club’s only true centreman.
During Friday’s “Insider Trading” segment on TSN, Pierre LeBrun reported there is “mutual interest” by the Canadiens and veteran Tomas Plekanec in reuniting this July.
Plekanec, 35, is coming off a two-year, $12 million contract and will become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 25, and still has his home in Montreal.
“It’s not a huge priority for Montreal, but they have huge respect for the player,” LeBrun said on Friday.
According to a well-placed source close to Plekanec, he plans on staying in Montreal through early-July, before heading back to the Czech Republic, and is hopeful he can re-up with the organization.
Plekanec will undoubtedly have to take a significant reduction in pay with any club he signs with this summer, as his role has gone from a second-line centre to a third- or fourth-line centre.
Teams cannot officially talk to unrestricted free agents until after the NHL Draft and cannot officially offer a contract or sign a UFA until July 1.