D, D and more D

Writing in La Presse, Mathias Brunet reports Ryan McDonagh is having a rough sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin.

Mark Osiecki, who coaches Badger defencemen, told Brunet that McDonagh is inconsistent. He is having trouble reading plays, and his reaction time needs improvement. 

McDonagh is minus-6 on a weak Wisconsin team that is 1-7 to start the season.

Osiecki credits McDonagh with intelligence and natural ability. The coach would like to see him play more like Mike Komisarek: making good first passes, working on zone clearances and becoming a physical  defenceman whom opponents dislike playing against. 

• In the Journal de Montréal, Marc De Foy reports that Pavel Valentenko has signed a two-year contract with Dynamo Moscow, with the KHL club holding an option on a third season.

Valentenko, who supports his family in Russia, will earn $30,000 a month plus bonuses in the KHL. Playing for Hamilton, his take-home pay was $3,000 a month. 

On  a happier note, De Foy reports that Alexei Yemelin is keen on joining the Canadiens next season.

Brunet and Marc-Antoine Godin write about the Canadiens’ need for a number 4 D. 

•  Bad news from Rimouski: Canadiens’ prospect Olivier Fortier has stretched knee  liganets and is out for eight weeks.

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