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Lars Eller signs four year, $3.5M per year with Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens avoided arbitration with center Lars Eller to sign him to a four year, $3.5M per year AAV contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

Originally the Canadiens were set to go into arbitration with Eller. Word was that the Canadiens were pushing for $1.6M and Eller at $3.1M. Based on the numbers it seems like Eller agreed to a long term deal if Montreal gave him a bump in salary in the final two years.

Eller, 25, played fantastic for the Canadiens in the post-season with 13 points in 17 games, nine of which were at home. Eller’s regular season wasn’t with so much fanfare. After a hot October start, Eller cooled down and eventually finished the season with 26 points in 77 games. Eller had only four points from January to March.

The 6’2″, 215lb Dane was a first round draft pick, 13th overall of the St. Louis Blues who came to Montreal along with Ian White for goaltender Jaroslav Halak. Eller has long been under the watchful eyes of Canadiens fans feeling he had the potential to be a big body center and a better choice for the first line than much shorter David Desharnais. 2013-2014 looked to be the year Eller would supplant Desharnais for the role as Desharnais started cold and Eller started hot. However things turned around in late November and Eller had found trouble finding his game since, sometimes playing on the wing instead of at center.

With Daniel Briere now gone for P.A. Parenteau, it’s doubtful there will be any expectations for Eller to play on the wing. Eller should hope for more powerplay minutes, a place where Michel Therrien hasn’t been too confident in Eller to play. It’s fine for Eller to play third line center since Montreal works a three line attack. The bigger question is when Montreal decides to move Alex Galchenyuk, currently a left winger but drafted at center, to the middle of the ice and how that effects Lars Eller.

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