Marc Bergevin continues to change the culture of the Montreal Canadiens. In a somewhat surprising move (although not really when you think about it), he has extended David Desharnais for 4 seasons following this one at a rate of $3.5M per season. I say that he is changing the culture – because the mid-season signing of Desharnais is a departure from the long-time policy of not negotiating with players during the season for the club. I for one love the idea of snapping up a guy who very clearly is a big part of this club going forward. For all the talk of his lack of size or speed, Desharnais continues to produce along-side Max Pacioretty, even through the loss of their wing-man Eric Cole.
The contract is worth $14M with the actual dollars spread evenly through the whole contract. On first glance I love this extension for the Canadiens. They wrapped up a big piece of their future for a reasonable sum and a reasonable term. At a time when Ryan Getzlaf is getting $8.25M for 8 years, you have to love Montreal’s approach here. Not that I’m comparing Desharnais with Getzlaf in the slightest – but Montreal’s cap situation is as desirable as any of the league’s best teams.
There isn’t one player on the team who you would consider a part of the core-group who isn’t signed for at least the next season at a reasonable rate. Only Tomas Kaberle’s $4.5M contract for next season stands out as a potential red flag. That said, you can bet that Kaberle will be the Habs’ final cap compliance buy-out this off season. Rumours are already swirling that Kaberle will be sent home rather than risk injury (as was previously attempted with Scott Gomez).
If you want to have a look for yourself at the great position Montreal is in, head over to Capgeek where you can use a myriad of useful tools.