Friday Bergevin announced that Plekanec has agreed to a two year contract 12-million dollar contract extension which will pay him 7 million dollars in 2016-17 and five million dollars in 2017-’18. Plekanec is in the final season of the six-year contract he negotiated with then Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier in 2010 which has been paying him 5-million dollars annually.
The length of the contract is interesting. At the same time Plekanec’s extension expires the Canadiens will be facing five other contract re-negotiations including most noteably Carey Price, plus Lars Eller and Alexei Emelin.
At the same time, when the contract expires Plekanec will be on the edge of his 35th birthday in 2018 and that’s important because of penalties imposed by the league on teams committing over-35’s to long term contracts. If a playing signs a multi-year deal at the age of 35, all salary and bonuses continue to count against the team regardless of whether he is playing or not. That rule was put in to prevent teams from manipulating cap space by signing veteran players to front loaded multi year contracts and then buying them out in later years. Plekanec will probably be an effective player at age 35 but good business would dictate that from that point onward, one or, at most two year contract extensions would be in order to prevent falling into salary cap difficulties of the sort that plague many other teams saddled with lengthy contracts attached to aging and unproductive players.
From the Canadiens Communications Department –
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Friday that the team has agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with forward Tomas Plekanec (2016-17 and 2017-18).
Plekanec, 32, played all of the Canadiens’ five games thus far this season. He ranks tied for first on the team in goals (4); and tied for second in points (4) and differential (+7). The 5’11” and 195 lbs forward served two penalty minutes and scored one winning goal. Plekanec has won 52.9% of his faceoffs (63 out of 119), while playing an average of 19:30 per game.
Since making his NHL debut with the Canadiens in 2003-04, Plekanec ranks tied for 24th in team history for games played (766), 21st in points (503), 22nd in goals (206) and 26th in assists (297). Plekanec scored 49 goals on the powerplay, 18 while shorthanded and 32 winning tallies. He displays a career +47 differential and has served 440 penalty minutes. In 81 playoff contests, Plekanec collected 46 points (15 goals, 31 assists).
On the international stage, Plekanec suited up for Czech Republic at the Winter Olympics in 2010 (Vancouver) and 2014 (Sochi); at the World Championships in 2006 (silver medal), 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 (bronze medal), 2012 (bronze medal), 2013 and 2015; at the World Junior Championships in 2001 (gold medal) and 2002; and the 2000 World U18 Championship.
A native of Kladno, Czech Republic, Plekanec was drafted by the Canadiens in the third round, 71st overall at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.