Welcome to the world of social media.  Max Pacioretty announced on Twitter a new two year Canadiens contract this morning ahead of the official release from the hockey club.   The contract is worth 3.25 million dollars; 1.5 million for ’11-’12 and 1.75 million in the second year.    Pacioretty would have been a restricted free agent on July first.

His Twitter post –

MaxPacioretty67 Max Pacioretty
Happy to announce I just signed a two- year deal with the #habs

67-Max Pacioretty - Signs Two Year Contract

When called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs in December, Pacioretty was leading the American Hockey League in goalscoring.  In 37 games with the Canadiens he scored 14 goals and 10 assists.  His season ended with the infamous Zdeno Chara stanchion hit at the Bell Centre on March 8th.  Pacioretty suffered a broken vertebra and a severe concussion in the incident.

Pacioretty, with bonuses, earned 910-thousand dollars last season on the third year of a three year two-way contract.

Since the end of the season, the Canadiens have announced the signings of Hal Gill, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mathieu Darche plus Europeans Alexei Yemelin (
Russia), Joonas Nattinen (Finland)and Rafael Diaz (Switzerland).  Yannick Weber reportedly will sign a two year one-way contract this week and, although unannounced at this time, forward  Brock Trotter will return to the Canadiens organization after a year in the KHL with Riga. 

Unsigned ten days before the July first deadline are unrestricted free agents Andrei Markov, James Wisniewski, Brent Sopel, Roman Hamrlik, Paul Mara, Alex Auld and Jeff Halpern plus restricted free agents Josh Gorges, David Desharnais, Benoit Pouliot, Tom Pyatt, Ryan White and Alexandre Picard.

From the Canadiens Publicity Department

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.