NHL Free Agency Rumors: Montreal Canadiens to sign Karl Alzner

According to Aaron Ward of TSN, the Montreal Canadiens are expected to sign Karl Alzner to a five-year deal worth over $20 million. 

The Montreal Canadiens have been aggressive so far this offseason. Not only have they traded for Jonathan Drouin (and signed him to a huge extension), the Habs have also seen numerous losses on their blue line. They won’t be bringing back Nikita Nesterov, who Montreal traded for last season. Nathan Beaulieu got moved to the Buffalo Sabres while Andrei Markov went to the Vegas Golden Knights.

This put the Canadiens in a bit of a pickle defensively. They have reportedly found a replacement for their blue line, adding Karl Alzner, formerly of the Washington Capitals. Aaron Ward of TSN is reporting it’s a five-year deal and the cap hit will be roughly $4.5 million per year.

The cap hit is pretty much in line with what many thought Alzner would get. He’s a defensive-focused defenseman, handling tough minutes for the Capitals. Alzner has not missed a regular season game in over six years. He did, however, miss some postseason games this year due to a variety of injuries.

However, the term is a bit concerning. Alzner turns 29 in September, so he’ll be 33 years old during his last season of the deal. He has a ton of miles on his skates and has been declining over the past two seasons. Moreover, Alzner is not much of a puck mover, making his value moving forward a bit questionable.

He’s not fast, nor is he nimble, so that’s not a good sign. If Alzner continues to stay healthy and not allow goals, the Canadiens should come out of this deal looking good. But if his declining play continue to trend downwards, this could be an albatross contract.

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