Plekanec, free agent Aitken reach deals with Canadiens
Aitken's 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame added some extra muscle to the Blackhawks blue line in 2003-04.
Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Tuesday the signing of forward Tomas Plekanec to a two-year contract for 2005-06 and 2006-07. The club also agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Jonathan Aitken on a one-year deal. As per club policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
Plekanec, 22, was the Hamilton Bulldogs' top scorer for the past two seasons. The AHL All-Star winger registered 64 points with 29 goals in 80 games this past season and 66 points (23 goals, 43 assists) in 74 games in 2003-04. The Kladno, Czech Republic native made his NHL debut with the Canadiens by appearing in two games in 2003-04. He was selected in the third round and 71st overall by Montreal in 2001.
Aitken, 27, played with the AHL's Manitoba Moose in 2004-05 where he registered seven points (one goal, six assists) and 101 penalty minutes in 46 games. The Edmonton, AB native was selected in the first round, eighth overall by the Boston Bruins in 1996. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound defenseman has seen action in 44 NHL games with Boston and Chicago, including 41 games with the Blackhawks in 2003-04. Aitken also played with the AHL's Providence Bruins and Norfolk Admirals, where he ranked among the league leaders with 207 penalty minutes in 2002-03.