Prior to Monday’s qualifying offer deadline, the Habs took care of another one of their restricted free agents, announcing the re-signing of Michael Pezzetta to a one-year deal. The contract is worth $750,000 and is a one-way deal; the 24-year-old took less than his qualifier in order to get the one-way salary.
Pezzetta had a strong preseason and while he didn’t make the team out of training camp, he made an impression on Dominique Ducharme and was one of the first recalls from Laval early in the season. From there, Pezzetta was more or less a regular on the fourth line, getting into 51 games while picking up five goals, six assists, 81 penalty minutes, and 156 hits while averaging just under eight minutes per contest.
His usage went down under Martin St. Louis so it’s possible that Pezzetta finds himself on the outside looking in to start next season. If the Habs want to stash him in Laval once again, he’ll need to get through waivers in order to get there. Failing that, Pezzetta could also be the 13th or 14th forward while subbing in when injuries arise or when the team needs a bit more grit from the fourth line.
Either way, considering he was a healthy scratch at times in Laval prior to this season, the fact that Pezzetta has done enough to earn another contract and a one-way deal at that is a nice reward for the work he has put in over the last year and a bit.