Plekanec catches alot of heat from fans for his fear of the corners and lack of grittiness but it must be remembered that he still notches 20+ goals per season and has the ability to be a game-changer when he’s playing well. The price is a little high (and I would have preferred Captain Koivu at $3.25 million as a second centre) but I’m interested to see how the speedy Plekanec plays with the many new teammates he’ll have in the 09-10 campaign.
The official team announcement:
Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today the signing of forward Tomas Plekanec to a one-year contract (2009-10). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Plekanec elected for salary arbitration on July 5. His hearing was scheduled for July 30.
Plekanec, 26, completed in 2008-09 his fifth season with the Canadiens. The centreman posted his third consecutive 20-goal campaign, registered 39 points (20 goals, 19 assists), and fired 202 shots on goal in 80 games. He was one of only three Canadiens players not to miss a game with an injury in 2008-09.
Since 2003-04, Plekanec amassed 184 points (78 goals, 106 assists) with 637 shots on goal and a plus-20 rating in 311 regular-season games. The 5-11, 197-pound forward also scored 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) and registered 52 shots on goal in 21 career NHL playoff contests.
A native of a Kladno, Czech Republic, Plekanec represented his country at the World Hockey Championship on three occasions (2006, 2007, 2009) and won a gold medal at the 2001 World Junior Championship, in Russia.
Plekanec was selected in the third round, 71st overall, by the Canadiens at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.