It's January 1! Today, Bob Gainey can legally get on the phone and offer Tomas Plekanec a long-term extension. I expect he's probably doing that right now. I imagine this very conversation is happening as I write this:
Gainey: Hello, Tomas. It's Bob.
Plekanec: Ah, Bob. I've been expecting your call.
Gainey: So...how are you doing?
Plekanec: Well, you know. A little tired after the road trip. And racking up all those points. Cammy told me last night I've been the second-highest scorer in the entire league in December. Can you believe that?
Gainey: Mmmm...heh. That's pretty great. We've all had extraordinary months like that in our careers.
Plekanec: Yeah, I guess so. Just about every guy I've ever played with has had a month like that. I just can't remember any of them right now.
Gainey: You're not going to make this easy, are you?
Plekanec: What? I thought you just called to wish me a happy New Year. Ha ha. Just kidding.
Gainey: Okay. Happy New Year. Now, I think we have a little business to discuss. I'm interested in extending your participation with our group, Tomas. I could go to your agent right now, but I think you and I have a comfortable enough relationship for me to discuss this with you directly. I'm prepared to offer you a six-year deal, for a total of 28-million dollars. What do you think?
Plekanec: Wow. I don't know what to say. After all the down times I've been through, you'd do that for me? Just because I'm second in the league in assists and eighth in overall scoring?
Gainey: I'd like to get this wrapped up as quickly as possible, so I'll give you some time to think...
Plekanec: No, no! I'll take it Bob. I just want to stay with the Habs, and this offer is making it possible.
Gainey: Don't you want to talk it over with anyone?
Plekanec: No, this is my decision, and it's the right one. I'm sure.
Gainey: Excellent. I'll fax you the contract and you can sign it right away. Shall I add a no-trade clause?
Plekanec: Oh, sure. That'd be great. Then I won't have to listen to those annoying rumours anymore. So, you send the paperwork and I'll see you tomorrow at practice.
Gainey: Consider it done.
Plekanec: One more thing, Bob? How are you going to fit that under the cap?
Gainey: Um...honestly? I've got no idea. But I'm sure I need to keep you. I'll worry about the rest later.
Plekanec: Happy New Year, Bob.
Gainey: Happy New Year, Tomas.
At least, that's the conversation I hope is happening today, or will be happening in the next few weeks. What better time to dream than at the beginning of a brand new year?
Which reminds me...Happy New Year to all of you! I hope 2010 brings us all many reasons to celebrate.