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- With a $5 M cap hit, Sergei Gonchar is one of the most expensive d-men in franchise history. The only ones higher are P.K. Subban ($9 M), Andrei Markov ($5.75 M), Mathieu Schneider ($5.75 M), and Roman Hamrlik ($5.5 M).
On Thursday, the Habs announced the re-signing of Aaron Palushaj to a one year, two-way contract. Financial details of the deal are not fully available but he has accepted less than his qualifying offer; he will earn $600,000 in the NHL. The AHL portion, which will be higher than his $65,000 last year, is not yet known. Palushaj split time between Montreal and Hamilton in 2011-12.
This past season marked the first time in Palushaj's career that he spent more time with the Habs than with the Bulldogs, spending 102 days on the NHL roster. In that span, he played 38 games with the big club, picking up his first career goal to go along with four helpers and eight penalty minutes while averaging 7:33 per game.
His time with Hamilton was more productive. Despite playing in less than half of their games, he finished third in team scoring behind Brian Willsie and Andreas Engqvist. In 35 games, he had 35 points (15 goals and 20 assists) and 35 PIMS. His 1.00 point-per-game ratio was tops on the Bulldogs.
The signing means there are now just three restricted free agents in advance of Sunday's deadline to accept qualifying offers. Raphael Diaz has already turned down his by filing for arbitration (his hearing is July 26th) while P.K. Subban will as well. This leaves just Blake Geoffrion as a player having to decide on his QO, watch for him to ink a new deal prior to Sunday's deadline.
- Official Press Release