23 year old Canadiens pivot Lars Eller re-signs for two years.
Salary has not been released but the term sounds right. Eller will still have 2 RFA years left. This positions the club well for negoitations for a new contract.
1. If he’s a core player then he can be locked up long term using 2 RFA years to bring down the cap hit.
2. If he’s not a core he can still be signed for lower caphit/term deal at 25 and not pay UFA prices.
3. By 25 who Eller is in the NHL should be well established, giving the team a good position to make a decision from an information perspective.
Eller may not have impressed many with his straight point totals last year, but he showed great strides as a two-way, puck possession center. He also proved to be beastly on the penalty kill, anchoring the 2nd unit. 16 goals playing minutes of his difficulty is nothing to sneer at either. If only he had someone to pass to all year.
2 years also coincides with a large number of big money contracts coming off the Habs’ books in Gomez, Gionta, Markov and Kaberle. Although how many of those will be here to expire in two years is a fair question.
UPDATE: Numbers released. 1.325 million dollars per year. That’s a steal. Even as an non arbitration level RFA its pretty low for a player like Eller. I think Bergevin may have made up for the .750M overpay on Prust with this good of a contract for Eller.
If we are including Gomez, this put Montreal with 8.7M in cap space remaining, with 21 roster spots filled and Subban and Diaz (who filled for player elected arbitration) still to sign.