News of Max Pacioretty’s six year contract extension that broke late Monday
night came as a surprise to many. Immediate reactions to the deal seemed
to range from happy to very happy; the contract is one of the few things that
the majority of the Habs’ fan base seems to be in agreement on. Having had
time to assess the pact, which does not include a no-trade or no-movement
clause, do our writers share the same positive sentiments?
In signing Max Pacioretty to a 6-year extension, Marc Bergevin has succeeded
in locking up another core component for Montreal’s future. A 30-goal scorer
by age 23, Pacioretty is the prototypical forward that every team covets, and
one that the Canadiens have been lacking for so long. Looking past the
obvious positives, Max’s $4.5M cap hit is a steal for someone who should
threaten 30-40 goals from this point on, and he reportedly signed for less to
give Montreal a better opportunity to compete. This unselfish behaviour,
paired with the maturity and mental strength shown in rebounding from the
horrible Chara incident shows that Max ranks high in the "intangibles"
department, which I feel is a further asset to the Habs. Montreal’s future
looks that much brighter with this contract inked, and I look forward to
seeing what he will accomplish moving forward.
Brian La Rose: In looking at any sort of long-term contract,
one of the elements I always look at is the risk factor. If Pacioretty
were to regress from last seasons’ numbers, at what point would the contract
become cumbersome? With the rates as they are today, $4.5 million is
decent value for a second liner, let alone a top forward. As a result,
there is very little risk here (aside from the injury potential which exists at
all times) which makes this the right contract at the right time. For all
of the commotion and hubbub around the disastrous 2011-12 season, it’s also nice
to see the younger core players not backing away and instead signing up for the
long haul. Power forwards are hard to find and even harder to keep.
Marc Bergevin, with this deal, has ensured that the Habs will have one for a
long time and I, like many other fans (just look at our poll results), couldn’t
Alex Létourneau: This was an excellent move by Marc Bergevin to lock up this emerging power forward until the
2019-2020 season at a very reasonable cap hit of $4.5 million over six years.
Max Pacioretty showed no ill effects from the horrific Zdeno Chara hit two
seasons ago and there’s no reason to think that at 23 years young he will
regress. His 33 goals and team-leading 65 points were one of the sole bright
spots in an ugly season and rejoining his line mates, who all hit career highs
last year, should wield another season of potency on the attack.
Pacioretty has shown that he is a strong character and believes in his ability
to excel in the NHL. He has shown that he can talk big and back it up. His work
ethic to regain and surpass his previous season’s success on the heels of a
career ending injury should leave a nice taste in the organization’s and fan base’s mouth. He had a wonderful IIHF World Championships tournament and with
training camp around the corner, smart money would be to bet on him showing up
in better physical and mental shape. Canadiens fans should be happy to count
Pacioretty in the teams long term plans over the better part of the next decade.