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Montreal inks David Desharnais to four-year extension

Mar 15, 2013, 8:50 AM EDT

David Desharnais #51 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates his second period goal during the NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre on February 2, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
(February 1, 2013 - Source: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

David Desharnais, 26, has gone from being undrafted to a solid top-six forward. Now he’s getting rewarded for his hard work.

The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Desharnais to a four-year extension. The deal will pay Desharnais an average of $3.5 million per season, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie.

That’s a sizable jump over the $950,000 annually his current deal is worth in 2012-13, but it’s hard to argue against the pay raise.

After establishing himself in 2010-11, Desharnais broke out last season with 16 goals and 60 points in 81 games. He hasn’t been quite as productive in 2013, but has still scored eight goals and 16 points in 27 contests.

Desharnais would have been a restricted free agent this summer and his deal gives the Montreal Canadiens six forwards signed through at least the 2015-16 campaign. The others are Tomas Plekanec, Rene Bourque, Brandon Prust, Travis Moen, and Max Pacioretty.

  1. davebabychreturns - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    I guess the Canadiens’ cheap “bridge contract” philosophy doesn’t apply to Francophone players.

    • 19to77 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      Not really. He’s worth more than $3.5m, and now they have him at that cap hit for the next four friggin’ years. That’s a great deal. Why do a bridge contract if a guy’s willing to go longer for not that much more?

      • davebabychreturns - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        I’m not saying Desharnais isn’t worth this deal, I am saying the Canadiens have played hardball with guys like Josh Gorges, Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price and now most recently PK Subban (who is outscoring Desharnais this year in fewer games played) on their second contracts in a way that they are not with this player.

        (I’m not saying I don’t get it, frankly I think they should have done what they did here with DD with a guy like Subban because they are going to have to pay through the nose for him later. I also get that a hometown kid in a place like Montreal has marketing value far and away above what other players do.)

      • 19to77 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        Fair enough, and good point. Though I’m not sure they could have got a guy like Subban, willing to put his contract status above the team, to go for a (fairly) low-paying, longer-term deal like this. I imagine what might have taken so long is that they trying for something more like this and had to settle for a short-term deal (with the disadvantage of having to pay through the nose later like you said).

      • davebabychreturns - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        Well – and now I’m just being argumentative – there is lots of precedent to suggest that they wanted to force Subban into the bridge contract structure (Price, Gorges, Pacioretty who I forgot to mention earlier, Plekanec), and well connected folks like Elliotte Friedman seemed to think that was the dynamic at play in those negotiations.

        I would agree that Subban was unlike to take a four year deal at say, a few hundred K more than he eventually signed for. That being said if he had taken a deal like the one Desharnais did he would be a massive bargain already.

        As it stands if Subban can keep this production up for one calendar year his deal will be up and the Habs will be looking at paying him $5-6m, easily.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 15, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      PK is 23 and needs to mature somewhat before they give him the BIG contract. The guy needs to pay his dues, whereas Deharnais has proven to be a solid, consistent, and mature player. There are times that you can question the French vs English situation in Montreal. This is not one of those.

  2. lordstanley65 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Diving sucker punching cheap shot artist. There ya go, Habs. (Couldn’t find a way to fit the Colin Campbell Conspiracy in there, though.)

    • habsman - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      Three out of four ain’t bad.

    • bruinssuck - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      ahahhah !! Go see that … Asshole :D

      • habsman - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Thanks bruinssuck, that vid will NEVER get old.

  3. gino97 - Mar 15, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Does the contract have an added bonus if he reaches a certian amount of dives? I know Pacioretty’s had the dive incentives tied in. what did he get $20,000 for faking the injury when Chara bumped him?

    • habsman - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      Ha, is that you Dr. Recchi?

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