Another day, another one-year contract.
The Habs announced today that Michael Ryder will avoid salary arbitration by agreeing to terms on a contract that will see him locked up for the 2006-07 season. Ryder’s 30-goal season last year will earn him 2.2 million dollars in the upcoming year.
Had the Habs been unable to sign Ryder, he would have proceeded with his arbitration hearing on Tuesday. With Daniel Briere of the Buffalo Sabres receiving a hefty 5 million dollars in his hearing today, avoiding the process could prove to be quite a good thing for the Habs.
At just 26-years-old and with two impressive seasons under his belt, Ryder could have been in for a big raise.
Ryder is one of seven Canadiens to sign just a one year contract this summer, meaning Bob Gainey will have his work cut out for him at this time next year as he looks to deal with a handful of expiring contracts.
With 55 goals over the past two seasons, Ryder has all but cemented himself a spot on Coach Guy Carbonneau’s top two lines in the upcoming season.
Barring any drastic personnel moves, look for Ryder to continue to work alongside Saku Koivu and Chris Higgins on the team’s top line.
With New York Islanders forward Michael York receiving 2.85 million dollars in arbitration yesterday, this is a very bright signing for the Canadiens and must be considered some what of a steal. York posted similiar numbers to Ryder (52 points compared to Ryder’s 55), and probably would have been a benchmark in Ryder’s hearing.
A job well done by Bob Gainey, and kudos to Michael Ryder for sidestepping the often bitter arbitration process.