UPDATE: Pacioretty, Desharnais sign for two years

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AUDIO: Max Pacioretty conference call

Busy day for Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier, who signed forward Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais to two-year contracts. Pacioretty’s is for $1.5 million this coming season and $1.75 million in 2012-13; Desharnais signs for $750,000 and $950,000, according to an RDS report this evening.

Pacioretty spoke on a conference call with Montreal media at 4:30 this afternoon. Full audio is linked above.

A few highlights:

• Pacioretty has put on 10 pounds of muscle and says he’s faster than ever. After having suffered extreme fatigue for a few weeks after being concussed, he said he’s been in full training, 100 per cent, for the past two months.
• He says he continues to get “nasty stuff” through Twitter from some Bruins fans, who maintain his injuries were embellished as a member of the Bruins suggested. “It’s sad that people can feel that way,” he said, pointing out that Boston’s Nathan Horton was also concussed in the playoffs. “I would never say that (Horton) embellished his injury at all, I know exactly what he’s going through.”
• Pacioretty never feared that he’d not be offered a new contract, given his injury.

The team’s release:

MONTREAL (June 20, 2011) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of forward Max Pacioretty to a two-year contract (2011-12 and 2012-13). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Max Pacioretty who is one of the most promising young players in our organization. A power forward with skills, Max showed that he can help our team and make a name for himself in the NHL. We are confident that he will have recovered fully from the injury that kept him out of the line-up for the last month of the regular season and the playoffs,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.

Pacioretty, 22, completed in 2010-11 his third season with the Canadiens in the NHL. The left winger registered 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists) in 37 games. He tallied two winning goals and seven of his goals were scored on the powerplay. He served 39 penalty minutes and obtained 112 shots on goal, while averaging 15:53 seconds of ice time per game. Pacioretty suffered a season-ending neck injury and a concussion on March 8 against Boston.

Pacioretty had registered 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 27 regular-season games with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs when he was recalled on December 12. He was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for November, collecting 17 points (10 goals, 7 assists) in 13 games.

Since 2008-09, Pacioretty has registered 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists) in 123 NHL regular-season games. The 6’2’’, 208 lbs forward has recorded 86 penalty minutes and collected 243 shots on goal. Pacioretty has scored eight of his goals on the powerplay.

A native of New Canaan, Connecticut, Pacioretty was the Canadiens’ second pick (first round, 22nd overall) at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was part of the United States team in the 2007 World Junior Championship, in Czech Republic.

And the Desharnais release from the Canadiens:

MONTREAL (June 20, 2011) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced tonight the signing of forward David Desharnais to a two-year contract (2011-12 and 2012-13). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to have reached a two-year agreement with David. Since joining our club midway through last season, David has shown that he has the potential to play at the NHL level and contribute offensively to the success of our team,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.

Desharnais, 24, completed in 2010-11 his first season in the NHL. The centre recorded 22 points (8 goals, 14 assists) in 43 games. Four of his goals were tallied on the powerplay. He served 12 penalty minutes and registered 55 shots on goals, while averaging 12:52 seconds of ice time per game. Desharnais added an assist in five playoff contests.

Desharnais had registered 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 35 regular-season games with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs when he was recalled on December 31. The 5’7’’, 170 lbs forward was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for December, collecting 20 points (3 goals, 17 assists) in 14 games.

Native of Laurier-Station, Quebec, Desharnais first signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on November 5, 2008.

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