Today Gauthier used the money he saved all summer long to sign Chris Campoli to his biggest contract ever!
Take this for what it is. It's an OK signing with implications.
The first sign that giving a raise to a defenceman that no one else in the NHL wanted to touch is that the Habs did this out of perceived need.
There's only two ways to interpret this in my view. That Markov won't be around for a while. Or that the team is very uneasy about leaving the task of defence to guys they acquired previously (notably Weber).
The former would obviously be relatively bad news, but not unexpected. And don't quote Gauthier who said this had nothing to do with Markov. If he wouldn't lie if it was to do with Markov, he'd be a terrible GM. The latter isn't much better since Weber has shown potential, maybe as much as Chris Campoli has anyway and will again be relegated to the slow development route.
That's the pessimistic view. but I said it was a good omen too. And it is.
If Markov is injured (and we know he is), the Habs could just ride out the injury for a few months. However, in doing so they risk a slow start and a perilous finish. The good part of this signing is the action of trying to fill a hole (PP QB?). Even if Campoli isn't one's cup of tea (not sure he's mine), any signing of an NHL defender at this point is a signal the Habs are very serious about the season, not willing to waste a week, a month or two.
Whatever happens, it's not that bad. Campoli could be benched and probably even traded (even at that price). He could be valuable insurance against more injuries. he could just be variety for a 7th defender.
After an exhibition season with a lot of disarray, I'm happy to take even the smallest sign that this team wants to win this year. The bad implications was all but expected anyway, I'm taking this signing as a good sign from the management.