Habs, Eller avoid arbitration with a four-year deal worth $14 million
The Montreal Canadiens announced today that they have signed forward Lars Eller to a new four-year contract worth $14 million and will carry an annual average salary of $3.5m per year. According to various reports the deal will pay Eller $2.5m in the first two years, $4.25m in the third year and $4.75m in the last year leaving him an unrestricted free agent at the end of the deal.
The two sides avoided a potential short-term deal in arbitration, according to sources and will both benefit from this contract over the next four seasons.
General manager Marc Bergevin announced on Thursday that the Canadiens have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with forward Lars Eller through the 2017-18 campaign.
“We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long term agreement with Lars Eller. He is an important part of our group of young veterans. He has a tremendous work ethic and a great attitude. He is the type of player you can rely on for his play at both ends of the rink,” offered Bergevin. “Lars can play big minutes against the opponents’ top players and still be an offensive threat. We are confident he will reach his full potential and become an impact player who will compete at a high level for many years to come.”
In 77 games with the Canadiens in 2013-14, the Rødovre, Denmark native registered 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists). He tallied two goals on the power play, one while shorthanded and scored three game-winning goals. He led all Canadiens forwards with 130 hits and recorded 137 shots on goal, while averaging 15:57 of ice time per game.
“I’m very happy to be a Canadien for the next four years. This is the place I want to be. Four years was a term that both sides were working on for quite some time,” offered Eller, who spoke to members of the media on a conference call from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport before boarding a flight back home to Denmark. “Many times, your salary and your expectations go hand-in-hand. I’ve seen that here in Montreal. But, I put a lot of pressure on myself, too. I think it also speaks to how much the organization believes in me. It’s nice to see that they’ve shown that faith in me. Now, it’s up to me to go out and play the best hockey that I can.”
The 6’02’’ and 215 lbs centerman ranked second on the team with 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in 17 playoffs contests. He also finished second among all Canadiens with a plus-6 differential.
“It was a very mixed season for me performance-wise. Certainly, my playoffs helped my situation. There’s no doubt about that,” admitted Eller. “But, this goes longer than just one playoff run. It’s a long-term relationship. I’ve been here for four years now. The whole management team knows me. We got to know each other well. They know what they have in me and I know what I have in them. It’s about more than just one playoff run or one regular season.”
The 25-year-old has produced 103 points (45 goals, 58 assists) in 286 regular season contests since his NHL debut with the St. Louis Blues in 2009-10. He has scored six power play goals, three shorthanded tallies and eight winning goals. He shows 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 25 playoff games.
Eller was drafted by the Blues in the first round, 13th overall at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired, along with Ian Schultz, from St. Louis on June 17, 2010, in exchange for Jaroslav Halak.