It looks like Habs fans don’t have to wait until next summer for negotiations to start between management and Max Pacioretty. His previous contract, totalling at $3.25 million for 2 years, would be expiring at the end of the 2012-13 season, thus making him a RFA. No longer does anyone have to worry about that. Marc Bergevin continues to have a love affair with six-year contracts (also signed Carey Price to a six-year deal), as he deals one out to Pacioretty for six years as well, totalling an average annual salary of $4.5 million, a significant pay raise from the $1.75 million he will be getting this season (the extension goes into effect starting next season).
Pacioretty led the Canadiens in scoring with a personal best of 65 points. He ranked second on the team in goals (33) and third in assists (32), and he finished fourth in the NHL in even strength goals (29). In 79 games last season, Pacioretty scored five winning goals and totaled 286 shots on goal (tied for 10th in the NHL). He was also 3rd in the NHL in even strength goals per minute last season, behind Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin.
Pacioretty was also the 2011-12 recipient of the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who best exemplified perseverance, determination and a dedication to the game. He returned to action in 2011-12 after missing the team’s last 15 regular season games and the playoffs in 2010-11, with a fractured neck and a concussion suffered on March 8th, 2011 against the Boston Bruins. On March 8th, 2012, one year after Pacioretty’s accident, he became the first American-born player in team history to reach the 30-goal plateau in one season, scoring an empty net goal against the Edmonton Oilers.