With ten days remaining until the July first free-agency orgy, Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier continues to put his house in order. Two signings of restricted free agents announced today. Leftwing Max Pacioretty and centre David Desharnais each signed two year contracts.
Pacioretty will be paid 1.5 and 1.75 million over the duration of his contract; Desharnais receives 750-thousand in the first year and 950-thousand in the second. Both have the security of one-way contracts for the first time.
The Canadiens have fifteen players under contract for the coming season including the rookie defenseman Alexei Yemelin. Assuming the salary cap increases to 64.5 million dollars forthe coming season as reported, the Canadiens have 20.75 million dollars of remaining cap space to sign the eight players they need to bring their roster to the twenty-three player maximum including thirteen forwards, seven defensemen and two goalstenders.
Forwards Currently Under Contract (8)
Cammalleri Plekanec Kostitsyn
Pacioretty Gomez Gionta
Signed Defensemen (4)
Goaltender (1) Price
Unsigned Free Agent Forwards – Halpern (UFA); Pouliot (RFA); White (RFA); Pyatt (RFA)
Unsigned Defense – Markov, Hamrlik, Wisniewski, Sopel, Mara (All UFA). Gorges (RFA), Weber (RFA), Picard (RFA).
Unsigned Goal – Auld (UFA)
From Canadiens Publicity Re: Desharnais
Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced tonight the signing of forward David Desharnais to a two-year contract (2011-12 and 2012-13). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“ We are pleased to have reached a two-year agreement with David. Since joining our club midway through last season, David has shown that he has the potential to play at the NHL level and contribute offensively to the success of our team,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.
Desharnais, 24, completed in 2010-11 his first season in the NHL. The centre recorded 22 points (8 goals, 14 assists) in 43 games. Four of his goals were tallied on the powerplay. He served 12 penalty minutes and registered 55 shots on goals, while averaging 12:52 seconds of ice time per game. Desharnais added an assist in five playoff contests.
Desharnais had registered 45 points (10 goals, 35 assists) in 35 regular-season games with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs when he was recalled on December 31. The 5’7’’, 170 lbs forward was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for December, collecting 20 points (3 goals, 17 assists) in 14 games.
Native of Laurier-Station, Quebec, Desharnais first signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on November 5, 2008.