Canadiens sign Pacioretty to six-year extension

Max Pacioretty
Late Monday evening, the Canadiens announced they have signed Masterton Trophy winner Max Pacioretty to a six-year contract extension.
The deal runs through the 2018-’19 hockey season. Although he Canadiens did not divulge financial details, the contract is worth $27 million and will pay Pacioretty $4.5 million per season.
Pacioretty is entering the final season of a two-year deal that will pay him $1.75 million in 2012-’13.

The team announcement:

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced tonight the signing of forward Max Pacioretty to a six-year contract extension (2013-14 to 2018-19). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pacioretty, 23, completed his fourth season in the NHL in 2011-12, leading the team in scoring with a personal career-high of 65 points. He ranked second on the team in goals (33) and third in assists (32). He finished fourth in the NHL in even strength goals (29). In 79 games last season Pacioretty scored five winning goals and totaled 286 shots on goal (tied for 10th in the NHL). The forward served 56 penalty minutes, maintained a +2 plus/minus differential and recorded 104 hits, while playing an average of 18:15 per game.

Pacioretty was the 2011-12 recipient of the Bill Masterton Trophy in the NHL, a true example of perseverance, determination and dedication to the game. He returned to action in 2011-12 after missing the team’s last 15 regular season games and the playoffs in 2010-11, with a fractured neck and a concussion suffered on March 8, 2011 against Boston. Pacioretty launched the Max Pacioretty Foundation, to help the Montreal General Hospital Foundation raise the funds needed towards acquiring a Functional MRI machine (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) for the Traumatic Brain Injury Centre at the MGH/MUHC.

Since 2008-09, Pacioretty has registered 114 points (53 goals, 61 assists) in 202 NHL regular-season games. The 6’2’’, 210 lbs left winger has recorded 142 penalty minutes. Pacioretty has scored 12 of his goals on the powerplay and added seven game winning goals.

A native of New Canaan, Connecticut, Pacioretty was drafted in the first-round, 22nd overall by the Canadiens at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. On March 8, 2012, he became the first American-born player in team history to reach the 30- goal plateau in one season, scoring in an empty net against the Oilers in Edmonton.

Here’s Elliotte Friedman’s Hockey Night in Canada feature on Pacioretty:

Here’s a Gazette feature Dave Stubbs wrote on Pacioretty in June:

Max Pacioretty skated last summer – day after day after day.

Recovering to full strength from a fractured vertebra and severe concussion that ended his 2010-11 season 22 games early, the Canadiens forward made up for lost time on ice, and then some.

“I took so much time off with my injury (15 regular-season games and seven in the playoffs), and I was so concerned about my head, that I just wanted to skate as much as possible,” Pacioretty said from his home in Connecticut.

“It caught up with me a couple times during the year.”

You’d not have known it, the 23-year-old enjoying a breakthrough season with a career-high 33 goals and a team-high 65 points.

In so doing, Pacioretty emphatically dismissed any fears about his post-injury durability, the only three games he missed in 2011-12 the result of a suspension.

But still, he believes his ferocious offseason skating regimen took a toll, so he’s come up with a fail-safe solution to keep from over-training on ice this summer.

“I’m having my parents hide my hockey bag for a bit,” Pacioretty said, laughing, his protective mom and dad just down the road. “I’ve got a charity game the middle of July and I think that’s when I’m going to pull the bag out and dust it off. I’ll try to skate as much as possible from that date forward. But not until then.”

Pacioretty this week takes a mini-vacation, as he calls it, flying Monday with his wife, Katia, to Las Vegas for Wednesday’s NHL awards. With Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul and Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson, he’s a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the player selected by a media ballot who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.

A victory Wednesday would bring Pacioretty to the microphone for a few words of acceptance. Public speaking isn’t his favourite pastime, but he’s been getting much better, given his work representing his foundation that’s raising funds for the purchase of a diagnostic/ treatment machine for the Montreal General Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury Centre.

“I’ve watched those awards quite often and the guys give pretty standard speeches,” Pacioretty said. “If I do win, I’ll probably go with just an ordinary speech – but I’ll still be pretty nervous.”

Award festivities include a Tuesday golf tournament, the NHL making a contribution to charities designated by the players.

“Obviously, I jumped on that opportunity,” he said. “But I’ll be coming home immediately after the awards to get back into the routine.”

Pacioretty is weeks into his dryland training. He says he’s “a lot stronger already” from his toil at Prentiss Hockey Performance in Darien, Conn., done alongside dozens of pros who include a number of Canadiens prospects.

Among workout partners are long-time friends Aaron Palushaj and Phil DeSimone, respectively property of Montreal and the Hamilton Bulldogs, who are rooming in the home of Pacioretty‘s parents, Ray and Anette.

“It’s taken off completely, a great setup for working out and skating,” Pacioretty said of the Prentiss Centre that for five years has been his summer fitness base, one that advertises a focus on structural balance, speed and strength, power, agility, body composition and nutrition.

He and Katia expect to be in Montreal on July 23, their first wedding anniversary, when Pacioretty helps out at the elite session of the Canadiens hockey school in Brossard.

“Probably better than my working out last year the morning after our wedding,” he said, laughing again.

Pacioretty took about a week off after the Canadiens season ended April 7, then jumped back into training for the IIHF World Hockey Championship in Helsinki, representing his native U.S. for the first time in senior competition.

His two goals and 10 assists in eight games led his country, the Americans ultimately falling to Finland in the tournament’s quarterfinals.

“Worlds were definitely an eye-opener and I learned a lot about my game and what I have to improve,” he said. “To be honest, it looked like I played really well but I don’t think I played as well as my numbers showed.

“On that big (200×100-foot) ice, I was playing a little too much on the perimeter and it was tough to get to the front of the net or bring the puck there. I wish I could have done a little more of that.

“It was a frustrating finish. I thought we were one of the most balanced teams there, at least capable of getting a medal.”

There’s no question Pacioretty‘s performance has put his name on USA Hockey’s radar for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, assuming NHL players take part in the Games in Russia.

“I hope I’m in the back of their minds,” he said of the brass. “I have to continue to improve and impress before Sochi. There are a lot of areas where I can improve my game and I hope I can address those in the summer and during the year, as well, to show them I can be even better than I was at Worlds.”

Pacioretty returned home immediately after the tournament then headed to Florida for a short vacation, having fled Connecticut to avoid the temptation of training with his friends.

Down south, he dramatic-ally improved his tennis fore-hands and backhands with Katia, an instructor and former touring pro.

“I can’t wait to come to (Habs training) camp and play against Davey and Pleky,” Pacioretty said of tennis devotees David Deshar-nais and Tomas Plekanec.

“I was so bad last year. Pleky can hit the ball really well. Davey’s athletic and he was a bit better than me last summer, but hopefully I can keep playing this summer and catch up to him.

“I hear that (defenceman Tomas) Kaberle is one of the best tennis players in the league. Maybe I’ll con those guys into a doubles match and get Katia on my team.”

Once he puts down his racquet, Pacioretty will find a dramatically new Canadiens management team calling the shots for a 2012-13 roster that’s far from being set.

He’s not yet spoken with new general manager Marc Bergevin, coach Michel Therrien or any of their staff.

“But I’ve been in touch with guys who do know them and I’ve heard nothing but positive things,” Pacioretty said. “It’s going to be important that we all go in on the same page, thinking positively about the season.”

Until then, he’ll continue to train. And he’ll interact with fans by typing a little more on his largely quiet Twitter ac-count.

Memorably, he sought ad-vice from his 80,000-plus followers this month regarding two egg-laying snapping turtles that had arrived on his lawn. The beasts left on their own, coincidentally not long after former Canadiens defenceman Hal Gill had help-fully tweeted a recommendation of tasty turtle soup and egg sandwiches.

“It’s been nice to get away from – no offence – the media and all types of things like that for awhile, to rest the brain,” Pacioretty said.

But that goalie Carey Price has joined the Twitter sphere this off-season hasn’t escaped his eye.

“Maybe,” Pacioretty said brightly, “it’s time I got back on Twitter just to give Pricer a hard time.”

Pacioretty, Price and Gill on Twitter: @MaxPacioretty67, @CP0031, @Skillsy75

46 Comments

  1. nunacanadien says:

    I like the capgeek information, which we never know is bang on, but roughly in the general ball park figure.

    Signing MaxPac for those many years, is great. But the question that leaves me, is while Bergevin was hired to fix Gainey/Gauthier’s rebuild……what kind of room does the recent signings leave Bergevin to actually do what he promised to do?

    What kind of money does Montreal have to say chase after a Doan type player for instance I wonder?

  2. nunacanadien says:

    I can’t help but wonder if Bergevin is really about winning now. He is basically rubber stamping what the Habs Ownership Committee has given us. Small players no one wants but who play with a lot of “heart” and promising young players like Subban who have a lot of “talent” but in the end most hockey analyst will agree, Montreal is still to small and too soft to compete. They dont’ have a scoring winger, or any winger for that matter who can make quality shots on net.

    The habs have a defense that even a triple A girls hockey team can push around. That is pathetic. That’s after the littlest girl knocks Gomez over with just the wind from skating by.

    But really, we need a real goalie to help this band of very eager has beens who are trying to earn a bigger contract elsewhere. Since when have the habs ever been a team that any player with any skill and size wants to come to, with the exception of Cole and Gill.

    Cole can’t fight to save his life in spite of his size, and Gill can’t skate to stop a puck because of his size.

    Having said that, we do have some great rookies waiting in the wings to add to our other perpetual rookie, Price, who we are still being told will mature one year into a great goalie.

    I wonder if Doan will just be another Gomez type washup when he comes to Montreal, sign big but play small….

    • Garbo says:

      Gill doesn’t play for Montreal.

      • nunacanadien says:

        That is why he was so easy to sign, what team wants a human pylon that can’t skate. Ok Nashville but hey they got other grit to back Gill up, what did we have, the bending Gorges or the other fragile d-men who can’t fight cause they are too short, or have broken faces/other body parts…..honestly

    • Doooie86 says:

      Dude,

      I am pretty sure everything you said in that post is completely backwards – also when was the last time something that analysts said before the season was right? Of the 13 forwards expected to be in the opening day lineup, 9 are over 6 feet and 200 pounds…. so by no means are they small…Scoring wingers? Colby Armstrong, Rene Bourque, Eric Cole, Lars Eller (yes I’m putting him here because in order to score 4 goals in a game you have to have skill) Brian Gionta, and Max Pacioretty are all wingers who can score… Why on earth would we want Eric Cole to fight? Brandon Prust fights… that’s why we got him…. And a goalie? Are you freaking kidding me? We have one of the top 5 goalies in the league and when he is on his game he’s the best in the world…. Yes, the Habs will have some problems, and yes I agree that defence is going to be an issue… But treading out the too small too soft bull won’t cut it anymore – Bergevin has done a really good job addressing the imminent needs of the team – how bout we wait till the season begins to start the doom and gloom nonsense

  3. Say Ash says:

    How does it work for NHLers if there’s no hockey? They’re permitted to play professionally elsewhere with no restrictions? Can they play in the AHL? Do they forgo a year of their current contracts? Do the contracts get pushed back? What about players in entry-level deals?

  4. Timo says:

    Not a bad signing. Not that it would matter this winter, but still not bad.

  5. D Mex says:

    Solid player / great signing.
    As with the Price contract earlier this summer, a couple of messages should be jumping out here at PK Subban if he happens to be paying attention :
    (i) the Habs are quite willing to commit term to young talent, and
    (ii) they are also prepared to commit serious dollars to young talent.

    The question Subban should be pondering is whether he embodies the kind of give-back, team-minded young talent the Habs are interested in retaining and making these commitments to. Just sayin ‘ …

    ALWAYS Habs –
    D Mex

    • Malreg says:

      The only message is that both Price and Pacioretty took 2 year deals after their ELC’s were completed, then they received the long-term deal (6 years).

      I’m guessing the Canadiens are only offering PK a two year deal, where he probably wants a long-term deal right away.

  6. FishOutOfWater says:

    Great news on the Patches signing! what a bargain!

    now looking at capgeek i noticed that galchecnyuk EL contract is for 3.25 million if he plays with the habs. why is it so large compared to tinordi and beaulieu?

    do you think this is points towards him playing with the habs this season?

    http://945thesmooth.tumblr.com/

  7. jon514 says:

    Goodbye to the dark ages of “no negotiation before contracts are up or during the season” management. Whatever you think of Bergevin so far, this is a bold statement that he’s doing it his way.

    EDIT: As stated by WarHero below, Gorges during the season was another example of this, though I think that was more of a desperation move by the Goat.

    “This Team is Less than the sum of it’s parts while Gomez is one of those parts.”

    • TorontoHabsFan says:

      To be fair, we really haven’t had an RFA player worth the risk of locking up long-term since the league started doing so.

      Price and Plekanec both had horrible seasons as RFAs when their contracts expired, and Kostitsyn never seemed to instill a whole lot of confidence after that initial 3 yr deal worth $3.25 AAV.

      Gorges, Pacioretty, and Subban are the first players that we’ve had that seem worth locking up long-term since teams started doing so.

  8. TorontoHabsFan says:

    While I’m very happy that Pacioretty is with us long term, let’s not discount the fact that a contract like this is a risk for the team. A calculated risk, but a risk all the same. Let’s not forget that he’s only had one full season where he scored over 30 goals. The NHL record books are littered with players who had monster years early in their career and never matched those numbers again.

    I suspect that the risk is worth it, but it’s still a risk and not the slam dunk it would have been if the team waited until after next season to start contract negotiations (of course if he put up another 30+ goals his price would have been higher).

    I’m sure that the Flames message boards were similarly excited when Rene Bourque signed.

    All of that being said, I have a very good feeling about Pacioretty long term. He really did seem to just “get it” when he came back from Hamilton.

    • jon514 says:

      Agreed. But I think he might have broke 30 goals 2 seasons ago if not for that hockey play…

      “This Team is Less than the sum of it’s parts while Gomez is one of those parts.”

  9. Newf_Habster says:

    I need to share more information on @hockeyyinsiderr who is already exposed, so you can become better and more aware of this faker.

    http://thehockeyhouse.net/uncategorized/hockeyyinsiderrs-identity-has-been-discovered/

    Half of his 49K followers were created with fake accounts last month.

    http://deadspin.com/5934256/?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

    He is just a 17 years old kid!!! That is why you should not follow and most importantly not trust him.

  10. Newf_Habster says:

    I am so thrilled that Patches are staying with the Habs for six years! Great signing! :)

  11. Bripro says:

    Great bedtime reading. What a bargain!

  12. The Habs are really heading in the right direction…this is fantastic news…once Subban is signed long term I will be able to relax completely!
    Great job MB!

    $4.5 million long term for an up and coming star sounds like a bargain…

    The greatest Canadiens and NHL news-site: http://teliopost.com/
    Twitter: @teliopost

  13. Lizardking89 says:

    I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong but when was the last time the Canadiens management proactively signed a player before it was absolutely necessary for them to so? It’s been so long that I honestly can’t remember. Koivu maybe? I think this is encouraging that perhaps this organization has some sort of long term plan now. Another very intelligent and shrewd move by our GM.

  14. otter649 says:

    Subban needs to follow what Price & Pacs did for their second contract sign for two years & then get an earned 6 year contract….

  15. The Gonk says:

    Max is the real deal, and this is a very good reasonable signing for salary and term. Barring injury he’ll be a consistent 25-35 goal scorer.

    Price’s contract, on the other hand, is a lot of $ for someone who’ll need to deliver.

    I suspect PK’s deal lands somewhere in the middle between these 2 as far salary, but term I don’t know.

  16. aj says:

    I think its inevitable that this signing means one thing: There will be a lockout come Sept 15. Rather than have the risk of having a season wiped out (hopefully, we don’t go to that road again), sign the players that are needed for a contract extension to avoid having them sign to other teams or leagues.

  17. RGM says:

    Just fantastic. The core of the Canadiens is slowly taking form and most are locked up for the long haul. With Price, Gorges, and now Pacioretty under contract for at least the next six years, that’s a great start.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! Maybe 2012-13 will be our year!
    “Scott Gomez is an elite NHL player” – VancouverHab

    Chat with me on Twitter @TheRealRGM81

  18. aj says:

    And I thought someone here at this website told me that Patches will have a contract extension after next season! HAHA, I was right all along!!

    Good signing by Bergevin to have him stay for 6 more years.

    Now, about that PK Subban contract talks, what’s happening right now? If he’s not interested to sign here, then this team should find a replacement. Yeah he’s a good RFA to get signed, but if he passes again after the first offer sheet given to him, I say let this guy go and Flyers should get him. I mean, whatever!

  19. Mark C says:

    Utter steal.

    Top line power-forward locked up for $4.5M AAV during his prime. This is shockingly good value for Montreal.

  20. WarHero says:

    Get PK in the books and we’re good to go … still need to deal with Kabs & Gomer though :(

    My band: http://facebook.com/TheCollectiveOttawa

  21. Say Ash says:

    Effen awesome!

  22. commandant says:

    Just a great, great deal. Now on to PK.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Chris says:

      It’ll be a great, great deal if Pacioretty shows that last season is the norm. Pacioretty was 23 years old and put up a season of 33 goals and 65 points and there is every reason to expect that he will build on that. And I think he will.

      But we should remember that we’ve had other players in very recent memory post similarly excellent seasons as Pacioretty had last year.

      Chris Higgins was 24 years old when he posted 27 goals and 52 points and played very solidly in both ends of the rinks in 2007-08. I think many would have been happy to sign him for six years at after that season. But then something happened and the kid fell apart, only finally putting his game back together over the past year and a bit with Florida and then Vancouver.

      Andrei Kostitsyn was 22/23 years old when he posted a 26 goals and 53 points and combined with Tomas Plekanec and Alexei Kovalev to form one of the most dangerous lines in the NHL through the second half. He hit like a truck and seemed to put everything together that year. And then we saw over the next few years that he would struggled with stunning inconsistency, being the best player on the ice one night followed by a run where he was invisible if he wasn’t making terrible plays.

      Where I think that Pacioretty has a huge advantage is that he seems to be VERY grounded and has been very quiet off the ice. We know that Kostitsyn liked the night life, despite being married with a young child, and the Higgins off-ice stories are of course well documented.

      This is where I think the additions of Brisebois, Lapointe and Mellanby in the player development department will pay off in spades. These guys all know the pitfalls of being an NHL player, and they know how to be professionals. Throw in former players like Bergevin as GM and Daigneault and Gallant on the coaching staff and you’ve got a franchise that **finally** seems to get that former players can be pivotal in helping adjust your youngsters to the pressures they face as they start to succeed in the NHL and the corresponding pressure to excel continues to grow.

      Everything is on the right track now…I really believe that we’re going to see more of these kids that have a solid first two or three seasons in Montreal continue to grow instead of seeing so many of them flaming out. Montreal’s been great at finding talent but brutal at helping to keep that talent productive in the NHL.

      • commandant says:

        Even if he scores 25 a year going forward, 4.5 is great value.

        And if we’ve seen anything in the NHL its that longterm inflation takes hold with only small lulls and bubbles here and there (see 2008), as such getting a player of his age for 6 years at this price is a good move IMO.

        Compare the fact that we are signing away more UFA years, and he’s getting less money than Jeff Skinner.

        Go Habs Go!
        Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
        http://lastwordonsports.com/


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