Montreal Canadiens sign Tomas Plekanec to six-year, $30M extension

Thumbnail image for plekanec.jpgTomas Plekanec will continue to be a member of the Montreal Canadiens for the foreseeable future. The Montreal Gazette reports that the Czech center signed a hefty 6 year, $30 million contract to remain with the NHL’s most storied franchise.

The Habs have a staggering amount of money committed to forwards Plekanec, Scott Gomez, Michael Cammalleri and Brian Gionta. Their combined cap hit is a little under $23.4 million, a significant amount even if the salary cap should shoot up nicely for the 2010-11 season.

It’s been an up-and-down three years for the crafty center. In the 2007-08 season, he looked like he had a breakthrough year with 69 points only to experience a dramatic fall from grace the next season. He went from 69 to 39 points in the 08-09 campaign but bounced back this year to record a career-best 70. (Just in time for his contract year.)

I’m not sure I really like this deal for the Canadiens. If he steadily produces in the 65-70 point range it’s not an awful value, but that 39-point campaign troubles me. Besides, the club still needs to re-sign goalie Carey Price, who will find himself in a pressure-packed situation going forward. Price and Plekanec are essentially the players Montreal chose to keep instead of retaining playoff hero Jaroslav Halak; if both falter, I imagine the passionate Canadiens fan base will clue them in to that fact.

Montreal made a big commitment in both dollars and years to Plekanec. Do you think they’ll end up regretting this contract?

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    Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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    In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

    For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

    Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

    Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

    They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

    Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

    Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


    Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

    The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

    To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

    Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

    Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

    McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: