The Canadiens announced on Friday morning that they have signed centre David Desharnais, 26, to a four-year contract extension worth $14 million. The deal will kick in next season and run through 2016-17.
In 27 games this season, the 5-foot-7, 177-pound Desharnais has 8-8-16 totals and is minus-2.
“David Desharnais is a talented young player and his contribution is essential to the success of our team,” general manager Marc Bergevin said in a news release. “David has shown perseverance and determination which enabled him to reach the NHL and succeed. He has earned this contract extension and the Canadiens organization is pleased to have secured his services for many years to come.”
Said coach Michel Therrien: “David deserves everything that’s happening to him. We’re pleased to have a good guy like that on our team.”
Tweeted teammate Brandon Prust (@BrandonPrust8): “Congrats to Davey Desharnais on his new deal. Habs future is looking great!.. Good thing I’m not gm I woulda gave the guy 20 mill!”
Tweeted Josh Gorges (@jgorges26): “Congrats to #DD on signing with the #Canadiens for 4 more years!!! Great day for both #Habs and Davy #wheresdinner”
In other moves Friday, the Canadiens assigned forward Petteri Nokelainen to the Hamilton Bulldogs after he cleared NHL waivers and called up Michael Blunden, who had 10-12-22 totals in 54 games with the Bulldogs. Blunden will replace Michael Ryder, who is sidelined with a lower-body injury.
Desharnais, a native of Laurier-Station, was never drafted and joined the Canadiens as a free agent in November 2008. In 157 career NHL games, he has 32-67-99 totals and is plus-4.
Desharnais was on the ice for practice Friday morning in Brossard as the Canadiens prepared for Saturday’s game in New Jersey against the Devils (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Also on the ice was defenceman Jarred Tinordi, the Canadiens’ first-round draft pick in 2010, who was called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on Thursday and will make his NHL debut Saturday with Francis Bouillon as his partner. Tinordi will wear No. 42.
The other defence pairings at practice were: Markov-Emelin; Gorges-Subban.
Forward lines were: Ryder-Plekanec-Gionta; Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher; Galchenyuk-Eller-Dumont; Moen-White-Armstrong.
Carey Price will start in goal against the Devils.
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)