The Montreal Canadiens continue to make moves early in the season
This past week, Montreal Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec signed a two-year contract extension that will have him in a Habs uniform through the 2017-2018 season.
Plekanec, now 32-year-old, was drafted in the third round by the Canadiens in the 2001 NHL entry draft. He has played nine full seasons with the team and has proven to be a valuable asset; in nine years with the Habs, Plekanec has scored 193 goals and put up 277 assists for a combined total of 470 points. He has only missed 12 games.
Prior to the 2014 season, Plekanec was named an assistant captain by the organization which demonstrated not only their faith in him as a player but more importantly, as a leader.
His new contract is valued at US$12 million. He stands to earn earn $7 million in his first year and $5 million in his second. According to ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun, this deal does not include a no-trade or no-move clause, meaning that the Canadiens can trade him while under contract if they need to.
Plekanec’s new contract will expire the same year as superstar goaltender Carey Price’s. This could mean the Habs will have to let Plekanec go in order to secure salary cap space for Price.
With his new contract, Plekanec will be making approximately $1 million more per season than he is now.
Habs fan Chelsea Martin believes securing Plekanec was a good move by the organization. “I love Plekanec, I think he’s really great,” she said, “[He] and Max Pacioretty play really well together so I’m glad we’re keeping him around.”
Another fan, Eddy Rousseau, also believes that signing Plekanec was the right thing to do and called him an important but quiet leader.
Rousseau, like many hockey fans in Montreal, is ecstatic with the team so far. “Obviously, I’m very happy and excited for what’s to come,” he said. “We had a solid foundation last year, which gave fans a reason to be excited for this season.”
“I think the team is playing a lot better this year,” Martin said. “Last year they basically relied on Price but this year they’re playing well.”
The Habs have yet to lose or tie a game this year and are just one game shy of the all-time NHL record for most consecutive wins to open a season. The record is shared between the 1993-1994 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2006-2007 Buffalo Sabres. As a historical franchise who was a part of the original six teams, fans are hoping that the Habs will continue to make history and break the 10-game record.
Even if the team falls short of beating the record, fans remain excited for what’s to come. With the announcement from Angela Price that she and Carey Price are expecting their first child in April, fans are optimistic that they’ll be able to see a baby price sitting in the Stanley Cup come June.