File this one under Fantastic-with-a-capital-YES! news.
Max Pacioretty has signed a 6 year extension with the Canadiens for $27 Million on Monday evening. The 23 year old scored 65 points last season (33g 32a) on the 2-and-a-half men line with David Desharnais and Eric Cole.
To say that Pacioretty was dynamite in his first full-time NHL season is a critical understatement. Pacioretty was 17th in the league in goals and 37th in the league in points. His line was the only reason on many nights that the Habs scored, and with his signing the Habs have locked up a HUGE piece to move forward with.
Pacioretty’s numbers are bordering on elite, and although his contract represents a large increase from the $1.625M that he will earn this season, Montreal has scored a coup in terms of contract value. If Pacioretty really is the 30 goal scorer that he showed this past season, Montreal has an extremely team-friendly deal in place.
Pacioretty will be 30 years old when this deal expires, which is good news for both the player and the team. Montreal has purchased the bulk of the prime of his career for $4.5M per season, which given the crazy contracts that have been handed out in the offseason already – is a ridiculously cheap deal. They have not taken a gamble on paying a player in his advanced age. They will not be stuck watching this player loaf around the ice at 40, still earning the type of money he may have been worth at 28. From Pacioretty’s perspective – he’s cashed in early on a great season, hedging the risk he may have taken next off-season should he suffer an injury or slump. This gives him certainty over the next 6 seasons, which for a hockey player (especially a young newly-married one) is a huge thing. Additionally, he’ll be a free-agent in his age 30 season, which is a great time to sign a new deal. He’ll have enough of his career still ahead of him to ensure he gets another good contract.
There is a lot to like about this deal. Great job Marc Bergevin. Great job Alec Shall (Pacioretty’s agent). Habs fans are richer today than they were yesterday.