Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin met with the media Tuesday afternoon in Brossard to discuss the six-year, $27-million contract extension he gave forward Max Pacioretty late Monday night.
Pacioretty’s current deal still has one year to run, with the extension to begin following the 2012-13 season and run through 2018-19. Pacioretty would have been a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the end of the coming season.
“Max is one of the best players at his position in the league,” Bergevin said Tuesday. “We’ve identified him as one of the core players on this team and that’s why we made this deal. I think both sides were interested in making a long-term deal. It’s been a while in the making, but we’re glad we got it done.”
Bergevin was also asked Tuesday about the ongoing contract negotiations with restricted free-agent defenceman P.K. Subban, and the GM described the talks as “cordial.”
“He’s a good young player, there’s a lot of things that come into play,” Bergevin said. “There’s potential there for sure.
“Out of respect for P.K. and his agent, I don’t want to talk about (the negotiations). It’s an ongoing process. We’ll get around to it in time.”
Pacioretty spoke with Montreal reporters on a conference call Tuesday afternoon and said he was hoping to get a longterm contract extension.
“It was something that wasn’t available with the old management situation,” Pacioretty said from his home in New Canaan, Conn. “I didn’t know if the new GM was willing to negotiate mid-contract. As soon as they said they wanted to get a deal done, obviously I wanted to play in Montreal and wanted to get it done as soon as possible.”