The Montreal Canadiens were expected to re-sign a home grown star player they drafted in 2007 some time this summer.
Just most figured it would be P.K. Subban.
Reports are coming in that Max Pacioretty has signed a 6 year extension with a 4.5 million per year average. This would be over 2 RFA seasons and 4 UFA years under current rules.
This is a bargin contract for a player of Pacioretty’s caliber, he’s arguably been Montreal’s top forward since being called up from Hamilton in 2010-11. On even strength during those two years he has had a team leading 54.1% corsi percentage, indicating that he has been dominant on puck possesion. He has scored 36 even strength goals and 68 even strength points in 116 games, which averages to 25.4 ES goals and 48.1 ES points per 82 games, which is easily a top 15 in the NHL scoring rate for a LW. If he hadn’t had the misfortune of having the worst ES strength save percentage for a regular forward on the Canadiens over those years (.912 ES Save to a typical .923) he’d have lead the team’s forward in plus minus over that period.
His power play scoring has been slightly less impressive with 11 goals and 21 points during the same time span, (7.8 goals and 14.8 points per 82 games), but the team’s power play has been at its best with him on the ice, his 6.10 team goals per 60 minutes of powerplay time is tied with Desharnais for best on the team during those two years.
In total he averages 33.2 goals and 63.2 points per 82 games. Top level production for a winger on any team in the NHL.
Pacioretty is the picture of an elite offensive LW and at 23 years old he should just be entering his peak years as a scoring forward. This deal keeps him in a Habs sweater until he’s 30, essentially the entirety of his very best years.
4.5 million is the typical salary of a good top-six forward or top 4 winger. Paying a top level winger this salary is a steal for the Canadiens.