A day after signing Niklas Sundstrom to a new contract, three more Habs are rejoining the fold as well. It was announced today that centre and last season’s leading scorer Mike Ribeiro, hardworking forward Steve Begin, and the talented young Marcel Hossa have all agreed to new deals with the team.
Ribeiro, coming off of a wicked regular season in which he led the club in scoring with 65 points, signed a one year deal with the Habs. The crafty centre earned himself a bit of a raise over last year’s deal, as he will be raking in 1.55 million next season.
With Ribeiro now locked up for next year, Gainey now only needs to worry about locking up Radek Bonk and the team will look very, very good down the middle. Bonk is a restricted free agent who the Habs qualified at his hefty 3.5 million price tag, but it’s expected Gainey will try and spread that amount over a lengthier contract.
More good news comes in the fact that Habs fans will likely be treated to at least two more years of the fiery Steve Begin. Begin has agreed to a deal which will see him get payed 700,000 in the upcoming season, with that amount increasing the following season.
You won’t find many guys brave enough to smash face first into the boards and keep on playing, but Begin is one of them. A fan favourite by all means, when healthy he is the ultimate spark plug. And maybe, just maybe, his offensive abilities are the slightest bit underrated. After all, he was able to pop home 10 goals during his 52 games last year.
Marcel Hossa only played fifteen games with the Habs last year, a number he’ll likely build on this season. With plenty of question marks currently surrounding the Habs’ top six forwards, Hossa should have a legit shot at sticking on the club’s top two lines. It’s unlikely that Hossa will return to the Bulldogs next season, seeing as he would have to clear waivers (an unlikely scenario) to return to the AHL. After signing just a one year deal, it looks like the next hockey season will be a crucial one for Hossa.