Home HABS Habs bring back Tomas Plekanec, sign Matthew Peca, Xavier Ouellet

Habs bring back Tomas Plekanec, sign Matthew Peca, Xavier Ouellet


The Montreal Canadiens are bringing back Tomas Plekanec.

The club signed the veteran centre to a one-year contract for US$2.25 million Sunday as NHL free agency opened.

Plekanec could get up to an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses as part of the deal.

READ MORE: Montreal Canadiens pick forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi third overall at NHL draft

The Canadiens also signed centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi, the third overall pick in the draft last week, to a three-year entry-level contract worth $925,000 per season. He is expected to play in Finland next season.

With the Canadiens out of the playoff picture, Montreal dealt Plekanec to the Toronto Maple Leafs prior to February’s trade deadline for two prospects and a 2018 second-round draft pick.

WATCH BELOW: Tomas Plekanec thanks Montreal Canadiens, fans for ‘every second’ with team after trade to Toronto

The 35-year-old had six goals and 20 assists in 77 games with Montreal and Toronto last season. He added two goals and two assists in the seven playoff games with the Leafs.

In 998 career games, Plekanec has 232 goals and 375 assists.

Montreal also signed free agent forward Matthew Peca to a two-year contract with annual salary cap hit of $1.3 million, and inked defenceman Xavier Ouellet to a one-year, one-way contract worth $750,000 in the NHL.

Peca has spent most of his career in AHL, while Ouellet was recently bought out by the Detroit Red Wings.

The club also boosted its AHL depth by signing 26-year-old forwards Michael Chaput and Kenny Agostino. Chaput inked a two year, two-way deal worth $650,000 in 2018-19 and $700,000 the following year in the NHL and $275,000 in the minors, while Agostino signed a one-year two-way contract that pays $700,000 in the NHL and $275,000 in the AHL.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Jets offload Steve Mason’s contract to try to re-sign Paul Stastny

Montreal acquired goalie Steve Mason, forward Joel Armia and two draft picks from Winnipeg on Saturday for defence prospect Simon Bourque as the Jets looked to dump salary. The Canadiens then put Mason on waivers for the purpose of buying him out.

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