The Canadiens announced on Wednesday morning that defenceman Francis Bouillon has been signed to a one-year contract extension worth $1.5 million that takes him through the 2013-14 season.
The 37-year old has played in all 28 games this season, posting 1-6-7 totals to go along with a plus-5 and 30 blocked shots. He also ranks third on the team with 48 hits while averaging 18:01 of ice time.
The Canadiens signed Bouillon as a free agent on July 2, 2012.
“That’s a good vote of confidence from the organization,” Bouillon said after practice about his contract extension. “When my agent called me two weeks to tell me that they wanted to sign me for next year I was really happy about it.”
“It’s a well-deserved contract,” coach Michel Therrien said, adding he was happy for Bouillon and his family.
Therrien called Bouillon, who has been paired with rookie Jarred Tinordi in the past two games, a bit of a mentor for young defenceman on the team.
“I know young guys rely a lot on older veterans who have been in the league for a long time,” Therrien said. “And I know Francis communicates really well with the young kids.”
Rene Bourque, recovering from a concussion, practised with his teammates Wednesday after wearing a no-contact jersey at Tuesday’s morning skate. He’s been cleared for contact, but it’s not clear yet when he’ll return to play. The Canadiens play the New York Islanders on Thursday (7 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690) and are back home at the Bell Centre on Saturday to face off against the Buffalo Sabres.
The good news is that he’s joined the team for practices, “so it’s an important progression,” Therrien said.
“I can’t tell you exactly if he’ll be there on the weekend,” the coach added. “The medical team will certainly re-evaluate him on Friday and will make a decision.”
The lines at Wednesday’s practice were Ryder-Plekanec-Gionta; Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher; Galchenyuk-Eller-Armstrong; Moen-Dumont-White; with Bourque as the extra man.
Defence pairings were Markov-Emelin; Gorges-Subban; Bouillon-Tinordi; with Kaberle the extra man.
(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)