One of Montreal’s big questions coming into this season was the contract status of pending UFA center Tomas Plekanec.
On Friday, the club answered it.
The Habs and Plekanec have agreed to a two-year, $12 million extension, per TSN. The deal will pay Plekanec $7 million in the first year and $5M in the second; overall, the AAV is a tidy raise on his current deal (a six-year, $30M deal with a $5M cap hit).
At first glance, the deal appears to be a win-win for both sides. The Habs aren’t locked into a long-term deal with a 32-year-old — who turns 33 later this month — while Plekanec gets a pretty good chunk of change, and avoids the distraction of pending free agency.
The contract will also allow Plekanec to focus entirely on playing.
And he’s played pretty well in the early part of the season.
He’s tied with Max Pacioretty for the team goalscoring lead (four), while averaging a healthy 19:30 TOI per night. He’s also winning faceoffs at nearly 53 percent and boasts solid possession metrics.
Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see how the Plekanec extension plays into Montreal’s future at the center position. Pivots Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais will need new contracts for 2017-18, which is the same season that Plekanec’s new deal expires.