Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has taken one of his post season contract headaches off the table with the signing of David Desharnais to a four year contract extension at 3.5 million a season. Desharnais was in the final year of his two year entry level contract. The new contract does not include a “no trade” clause.
The contract was signed only a month after Desharnais replaced New York agent Joseph Tacopina with Quebec-based super agent Pat Brisson of the Creative Artists Ageny.
Desharnais has eight goals and eight assists in 27 games this season.
The contract is another milestone in a six year hockey odyssey that started in 2008 when he signed with the Hamilton Bulldogs as a free agent and was sent to the East Coast Hockey League. The Canadiens put him under contract a year later and promoted him to Montreal three years ago. In 157 games he has scored 32 goals and 67 assists as a Canadiens.
Re-signing Desharnais was undoubtedly Bergevin’s number one contract priority. The other July first restricted free agents are forwards Ryan White and Gabriel Dumont. Thje pending unrestricted free agents are Michael Ryder, Colby Armstrong, Petteri Nokelainen, Francis Bouillon and goaltender Peter Budaj.
With the predicted buyout of the 4.250 million dollar Tomas Kaberle, the Canadiens will be committed to 51.7 million dollars in contracts for 16 players next season. They are have the luxury of 12.5 million dollar salary cap space with seven roster spots to fill.
On the signing, Bergevin stated “David has shown perseverance and determination throughout his career and that’s what earned him a regular position in the NHL. He fully deserves this contract extension and the Canadiens organization is proud to count on him for many years to come.
The Canadiens practiced at their Brossard training facility Friday. Newcomer Jarred Tinordi, called up yesterday from Hamilton, practiced with Francis Bouillon. Otherwise the forward lines and defense pairings remained intact.