Every year Michael Ryder gets a one-year contract ahead of going to arbitration. Every year (well this year and last anyway, and maybe next year too).
This particular contract looks great for both parties. Ryder gets a decent raise for continuing to be Michael Ryder (30 G + 20 some odd A), and the Canadiens get a 30-goal scorer for under 3 million.
I'm sure the one-year deal has been put in place as incentive for Ryder to perform (i.e., continue to score) for the 4 million dollar contract next time. To be honest, if he scores 30+ goals again, I don't think there will be much argument from most people. 3 seasons in a row wouldmake him a bona fide 30-goal man. It would be nice if he could get a couple more than the 30, maybe even 35-40 this time around. With the incentihttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifve of a bigger contract, there'sno better time for him to do that.
All in all, I am very pleased. Also Brisebois didn't jump on the alleged contract from the Habs, making Sunday July 29th a whole lot rosier for Habs fans than Saturday July 28th.
I'm keeping an eye on rumour sites for some more Hab news, but am more sceptical than Eklund is about it. I'd be surprised if they signed Markov (Dan) or made a big trade at this point. Had Ryder not signed, I'd be on the lookout for certain.
Looking forward to a few more slow weeks until the season...