Marc Bergevin continues to get his own players locked up quickly. A day
after re-signing Frederic St. Denis, the Habs announced that Lars Eller has put
pen to paper on a two year contract. Eller will earn $1.15 M this year and $1.5 M in 2013-14 for a cap hit of $1.325 M. This leaves just P.K. Subban and Raphael Diaz as the lone full
time NHL’ers that need new deals.
2011-12 was a career year for the former 1st round pick as he set career
highs in goals, assists, and points (with 16, 12, and 28 respectively). He
also was one of the few forwards to stay consistently healthy during the year
missing just three games. One area that didn’t get enough attention was
his blocked shots total; with 55, he was second to only Tomas Plekanec amongst
Hab forwards. By comparison, he had just 22 in his rookie campaign.
Eller matured into a responsible defensive forward under Jacques Martin and
Randy Cunneyworth. He averaged just shy of two minutes per game on the
One area that he will need to improve upon is his faceoff skills. Eller
has stated in the past that he is more comfortable playing centre but having a
46.6% success rate isn’t going to help his cause. If he stays down the
middle, he’ll likely be the third line centre to start the year but if he moves
to the wing as he has in the past, he could be an option to play on a second
offensive line, potentially alongside Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.
Eller had a strong end to the year as he joined Team Denmark for the 2012
World Championships. Although the team struggled (narrowly avoiding
relegation), Eller led the Danes in points with 5, as well as shots on goals
(21), and ice time as he played nearly 21 minutes per game. Of note for
Montreal fans, he did so primarily on the wing. His highlight of the
season came with Montreal against the Jets when he had a 4-goal night.
Below are the highlights of those goals.