The Montreal Canadiens have signed restricted free agent Artturi Lehkonen to a one-year contract extension.
Lehkonen has played five years with the Canadiens since coming over from the SHL. with respectable offensive totals in each year in a depth role. His 2020-21 season was a bit off his typical scoring pace, with just 13 points in 47 games. He had three goals in the playoff run, including a major one in overtime that advanced Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final.
This contract’s salary comes in just under what Lekhonen earned on the recently expired two-year deal: $2.3 million now versus the $2.4 million AAV of his previous contract. It also happens to fall right between that previous cap hit and this year’s qualifying offer of $2.2 million, which likely set up an easy negotiation between the team and a player with arbitration rights.
The left-wing position in Montreal has seen a lot of turnover in the past year with the expected departure of Tomas Tatar, the arrivals of Mike Hoffman and Mathieu Perreault, a long recovery from surgery facing Paul Byron, and the uncertain status of Jonathan Drouin. Lehkonen will give the team some stability at that position, a known quantity to slot the other players around.