With his arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow, the Montreal Canadiens and Lars Eller have avoided leaving it in the hands of a third party, and have agreed to terms on a four year contract worth $3.5M per season.
Eller, 25, was seeking a $3.1M award in arbitration, while the Canadiens had submitted an $1.65M award. Clearly, the Canadiens were looking to get a deal on short term, while Eller wanted to get a bit more term. While many may believe that Eller is a huge winner here due to his annual average being even higher than his max arbitration award, the Canadiens have also bought two years of unrestricted free agency, and signed Eller for essentially his prime years, with the contract ending at age 29.
Eller's contract will pay him $2.5M for each of his remaining years as a restricted free agent, with a jump to $4.25M in his first year of free agency, and $4.75M in his second year of free agency.
Eller also makes a statement with this contract, committing to the Canadiens at the same term and dollar as David Desharnais, cementing himself as a part of the young core of the Habs for years to come.