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CRACKS OF DON: Siding with ‘Smarty Marty’ on goalie contracts

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“There’s going to be a lot of pressure that’s going to come with number one, the trade to bring him in, the contract, and this is a rebuilding team. I am skeptical that it’s going to all work out.”

Biron has similar feelings about the six-year, $36-million deal Markstrom signed with the Flames.

“I think that is going to be one that, in two or three years down the road, the Flames may regret,” said Biron. “If you look at Markstrom over the last few years, has he elevated himself to be in the same discussion as (Andrei) Vasilevskiy, as Pekka Rinne, Tuukka Rask, as the top goaltenders in the NHL? I don’t think so. For me, it’s still a little too much to give a goaltender as a free agent. I wouldn’t have gone past $5 million. Maybe sweeten the deal to $5.5. But $6 million was a little bit too much.”

They don’t call him Smarty Marty for nothing … they probably don’t call him that at all …. but in what he thinks about the money spent on Murray and Markstrom, I agree with Biron.

Those are two contracts Ottawa and Calgary will regret.

STOPS AND STARTS

There’s a lot to be impressed about with Patrick Marleau, who on Tuesday signed another deal with the San Jose Sharks and is now poised to break Gordie Howe’s record of 1,767 career games played. Marleau needs nine more to move past Ron Francis for fourth, 11 more to pass Jaromir Jagr for third, 34 more to supplant Mark Messier for second, and 45 more to take over possession of first on the list from Mr. Hockey. Not counting the messed up 2019-20 schedule, the 41-year old product of Swift Current has played the last 10 seasons without missing a single game. In his first 21 seasons, he was unavailable for just 31 games. That’s some kind of durable … Bruce Cassidy’s coaching skills will be put to the test if the 2020-2021 season starts in January, as is the plan. That would leave the Bruins without two-thirds of The Perfection Line for a significant time,  as the team has announced Brad Marchand (sports hernia) and David Pastrnak (hip) had surgery in September that will keep them sidelined for four and five months, respectively. With Torey Krug now in St. Louis, the top-rated power play in the NHL will be a mere shadow of its former self out of the gate … Charlie McAvoy also had right knee surgery in September, but he’s expected to be ready to go for the start of the season …

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