Paul Byron was looking like a potential trade candidate at some point during the season but that won’t be the case now as the Habs have inked him to a four-year extension worth $13.6 million.
Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports that the breakdown of the deal is as follows:
The 29-year-old has been quite the surprise contributor over the last couple of years, posting 20 goals in each of the last two seasons despite not spending a ton of time in the top six. His speed makes him a significant threat on the penalty kill and he has shown a better touch around the net compared to his days in Calgary.
Still, the contract represents a significant jump on his current cap hit – he’s basically tripling the value of his current contract. With a $3.4 million AAV, GM Marc Bergevin is clearly banking on Byron’s uptick in production being a sign of things to come and not just a two-year surprise.
With Byron presumably now off the potential trade block, Tomas Plekanec once again becomes the most prominent pending restricted free agent that the Canadiens have heading into the 2018-19 season. While they’re expected to be sellers as things stand, they won’t have too many expiring contracts to sell. On the flip side, a key part of Montreal’s forward group is now locked up for the next half-decade.