August 14, 2012

Pacioretty inks lengthy pact with Habs

By Jesse Connolly

Originally set to become a restricted free agent next summer, those looking forward to Max Pacioretty hitting the market are now going to have to wait a whole lot longer.

The New Canaan, Conn., native signed a six-year extension with the Canadiens through the 2018-19 season. He’ll be paid $4.5 million annually.

Pacioretty is coming off a career year. In 2011-12, he scored 33 goals and added 32 assists for a total of 65 points in 79 games. Pacioretty showed remarkable perseverance, making a full recovery and thriving this past season after suffering a concussion and fractured vertebrae in a game against Boston in March 2011. Fittingly, the Habs’ forward was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy in June.

Pacioretty, who inked a two-year deal with Montreal last summer, is thrilled to have inked his new long-term pact.

"This is something I wanted to get done," Pacioretty told the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs. "I think once the team knew I wanted to get it done, they jumped on the opportunity as well.

"The biggest thing for me is, my career has been maybe plagued by instability and just to be able to call Montreal home for seven years is such an honor. I want to do whatever I can to help this team win and this will help me focus on that for years to come."

In 202 career NHL games, Pacioretty has 53 goals, 61 assists and 114 points. His $4.5 million salary ties him with fellow 30-goal scorer Erik Cole as the fourth highest paid forward on the Canadiens’ roster.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.