Montreal Canadiens’ fans received some good news yesterday. They re-signed one of their key players; one that was sure to attract a lot of interest in the UFA market. No, I’m not talking about Mathieu Darche’s 1 year extension, I am talking about Tomas Plekanec’s new 6 year deal that will pay him $5 million per season. On the surface, that seems like a lot of money for a “1A” center, even when you factor in that he had a career year with 70 points.
The longer term of the contract, 6 years, doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I would have been satisfied if they would have given him 8 years in exchange for taking less money at the end of the contract. In the past 4 years, he has missed only 4 games, and he’s still relatively young at 27 years old.
The cap hit of the contract, $5 million per season, is a tough pill to swallow, but it is fair. Matt Stajan signed an extension for $3.5 million a few months ago, and Plekanec is certainly worth more. I’m sure Ryan Kesler’s $5 million cap hit was used as a comparable, and rightfully so.
What this ultimately means for Montreal is that if they were thinking of getting into the Kovalchuk/Marleau sweepstakes, they can forget about that. The one thing I wouldn’t rule out is acquiring another top 6 winger via trade, but that would mean that GM Pierre Gauthier would need to find a way to get rid of Andrei Kostitsyn (trade) and Roman Hamrlik (buyout). The one thing I can guarasntee is that if somehow, Kovalchuk and Marleau sign contract extensions by June 30 – July 1 is going to be the most boring UFA day ever!
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.