Max Pacioretty was scheduled to become a restricted free agent next summer and he picked a good time to post career numbers. After a 33-goal, 65-point campaign for the Montreal Canadiens in 2011-12, Pacioretty has cashed in with a 6-year extension worth $27 million, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. The deal kicks in with the start of the 2013-14 season.
From the Habs:
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.
After the devastating injury he received in March 2011 after a hit from Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, Pacioretty rebounded and was named winner of the 2012 Bill Masterton Trophy, given to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey".
Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette spoke with Pacioretty, who said he was happy with committing to the city for six more years:
"This is something I wanted to get done," Pacioretty said from his off-season Connecticut home late Monday night. "I think once the team knew I wanted to get it done, they jumped on the opportunity as well.
"The biggest thing for me is, my career has been maybe plagued by instability and just to be able to call Montreal home for seven years is such an honour. I want to do whatever I can to help this team win and this will help me focus on that for years to come."
Now that Pacioretty has been extended, all eyes will move to P.K. Subban, who's currently still unsigned as an RFA. Subban told Dan Rosen of NHL.com that he's optimistic a deal, but what will come first: a new Subban contract or a new labor deal?
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