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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quick Hit: Maxim Lapierre signs a 1 year, 900K deal with Habs

As first reported by Richard Labbe of La Presse, Maxim Lapierre and the Montreal Canadiens have indeed come to terms on a one year, 900K contract.

I think this is a good deal for both sides as the Habs will get a hungry Lapierre for an extremely digestible 900K on a one year deal.

Lapierre, who had a career year two seasons ago by potting 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points. Last year, however, his stats and his play fell off a little, and he finished the year with only 14 points (7G, 7A).

However during the Habs' surprising playoff run this spring, Lapierre seemed to rediscover the grit, speed and intensity and had made him such an effective player the pervious season.

This short term contract really amounts to a "show me what you're made of" deal. Lapierre gets one year to show the Habs brass that he belongs and that his playoff performance was not an aberation while the Habs get an affordable 900K cap hit.

Likely penciled in on a third line with Lars Eller and Tom Pyatt to start training camp, Lapierre should not have any problems showing that he truly belongs on this team.

If not, there will be a whole batch of young players ready to take his spot.

So what do you think of the deal? Is it good? Bad? Thoughts?

14 comments:

The money is spot on but I hate the 1 year deal making him a UFA at season end.

Hi Delia and thanks for your comment!

It's true that it is a bit of a game of chicken, making him a UFA at the end of the season. But I think the Habs really want him to spit or get off the pot....if you get my meaning.

If he plays like we all know he can, the Habs will likely sign him to a three year deal (before the season ends).

If not, they have options: move him at the deadline, trade him for a pick.

Either way, there wasn't much choice as he just didn't play well last year and couldn't expect much more.

Thanks again!
K.

The reality is the Habs will have close to $25M of cap space next season with contracts coming to end. It makes sense to only sign him for 1 year and take that year to evaluate and see if we want to hook him long term.

Another reality, which is perhaps more of a personal opinion, would be that RFA or UFA makes little difference with a player like Lapierre because he knows Montreal is by far the best team that suits him being a french Quebecer. If we were to "lose" him in the future, it will be a decision that the Habs have made and not because we lost him to free agency.

Finally, the price tag (900k) is fair. Might sound low if you compare to Benoit Pouliot (which IMO received way too much $ for his 1 year contract) but you can't compare. 3rd line center for under a million, totally acceptable.

I'm at work so as always, i blurted and i must now go! :P

Stevo

I like it. If we can get the consistent effort by Mad Max of the playoffs, then both the Habs and Max will win. If not, it's a limited partnership and the Habs will correct it next year. So it's a win-win IMO.

Man, I'm not a fan of Gautier by any means, but he's no fool and he's not driving the Habs into a deep hole by signing iffy players for long-term contracts. Gotta give him props - again. Off to swallow some Pepto. Kidding!

I will tell you why I do not like this. We are going into a situation just as we were 2 years ago. The better teams in the league maintain a consistent nucleus and go forward. We've made wholesale changes the past 2 years and will be doing so again.

Kostitsyn, Pouliot, Pacioretty, Lapierre, Boyd, Darche, Pyatt, Maxwell, Markov, Hamrlik, Gorges, O'Byrne, Gill and Auld. These are the guys we'll have to re-sign of which 12 will be regulars.

Teams work best when they have contracts expiring at a staggared rate not all at once.

Willey, I must respectfully disagree with you on that. Out of the ones you've just listed, I think only Gorges and Markov are guaranteed to be resigned next summer. Everyone else is going to have to fish hard next season, or else the Habs will be cutting some serious bait. I don't see the point in locking Laps up long term after such a dismal regular season. This kind of pressure helped Pleks to produce this past year, and he got rewarded for it. I'm hoping Laps took notes.

Meanwhile, Pleks, Gomez, Gio, Cammy are here to stay - which I like. Agree the contracts should be staggered more though, which PG just did with Pleks actually. He's scheduled to hang around later than the other 3. It's going to take some time to fix the mess, and PG is at least making some headway with not much wiggle room $ wise, and with not much time at the helm. JMO

Hey Stevo, I've got to agree with you there.

This is a move that gives the Habs the most options and the most flexibility going forward.

I am also a bit disgusted by the huge pay raise that Pouliot got. Not sure what that is all about considering the guy had no leverage.

Hey Tyg, I think the thing that PG is trying to do is make the best of a bad cap situation.

All of this jostling and squeezing is because of Gomez's horrible $7.35 Mill deal. At best, Gomez is a $5 mill guy.

That Extra $2+ mil could go a long way towards getting some scoring help, which this team desperately needs.

Hey Willey I think you make a valid argument, and like I said on the HB.com discussion, I can't disagree.

That being said, I think that PG is still in the process of cleaning up the mess that Gainey left and Lapierre might become just another casualty of the process.

TYG: good point and you're bang on! This is a mess that was created last offseason and it will take a little while to clean up...especially the horrible Gomez contract.

Talk about a hinderance!

Alot of head scratchers.

We face bad cap situations yet PG has thus far not moved any contracts. Kostitsyn, Markov, Hamrlik, Spacek.....you'd think one or more of these deals would be sent packing.

Markov is the guy you want to retain yet is the contract you'd get the most for. Great teams make hard situations, time to do the same.

Eat the Hamrlik contract or trade Markov for some crucial components.

Tyg-----

I see what you saying. More or less our nuckleus is complete. I just do not see as much optimism at season end as other do. We appear to have alot of cap space but with that need to sign a 1st and 2nd line winger.

A #1 D-man and another top 4 D-man.

Those 4 components will eat up alot of cap space.

Willey, thanks and don't get me wrong - I'm also not that optimistic going into next season. Agree that we desperately need wingers & D-men, but really, Hamr is impossible to offload and I'd rather keep Markov. Maybe no one wants to take the chance on AK? I'm surprised we managed to offload Sergei, actually.

As for Markov, the Habs' stats without him are horrible and I cannot expect a young rookie like Subban to pick up his slack just yet. Apparently next year's FA market is supposed to be deeper, and PG will have a lot more $ to play with.

I think PG did what he could to keep what's working, and put what's not on a one season warning notice. That's as optimistic as I get right now, cause IMO that's an improvement over Gainey. I think what happens next summer will likely have us tweeting and blogging like crazy people compared to this year. Ought to be more interesting at least.

But yeah, don't like the waiting either. I suspect next season is a write off, unless we get another miracle.

@Willey: You're right re: Markov. He is the biggest asset the Habs have right now. I think that IF the Habs tank this season, Markov could be moved to a contender near the deadline and would fetch a huge package.

A prospect plus a 1st rounder? Maybe more? Who knows.

@Tyg: I am also not very optimistic about this coming season. The Habs, so far, have moved sideways, and not forward.

Unless AK46 and Pouliot can wake up and score 50 goals between them, this is still going to be a team with two goal scorers: Gionta and Cammalleri.

Also, Price is still a big question mark. If he is good, the Habs can have a good season. If he is average, the Habs will have a .500 season like last year, and if he is bad....well, you get the picture.

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