Today, we received confirmation that at least some of the Canadiens management team watch the same games that we do, and even share some of the same notions about winning hockey.
Tomas Plekanec won a hefty raise by repeating his 20-odd goalscorer, 70-odd point man routine from a couple of years ago. He earned the privelege of Pierre Gauthier's phone call with an offer with his outstanding contributions throughout his tenure, the season, and particularly the Pittsburgh series.
This case draws a line in the sand between Plekanec and Jaroslav Halak for value to the team. Whereas the management figures they can do almost as well with Carey Price or someone else with adjustments to other positions, the Plekanec signing tells me they haven't seen an offensive centreman capable of playing as many roles as Pleks becoming available in the very near future.
Largely, I agree with this assessment. And, I'm glad that some other erroneous contracts didn't force this one off the books before a phone call could be made. $5 million a season is a lot for a number two centre (if reports are correct), but Plekanec himself earns this money (relative to high paid players in the NHL).
The move does however make the prospect of free agency less of a reality this summer. Looking down the list of players, this probably isn't a bad thing. That said, if a large scoring winger must be brought in, then the GM will have to get creative. Time for him to earn his money, I suppose.