Montreal Canadiens sign forward Maxim Lapierre to a two-year deal

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Maxim Lapierre to a US$1.375-million, two-year deal.

Lapierre, 23, had 18 points (7-11) in 53 games last season for Montreal, setting career highs in all categories. He’ll make $575,000 the first year and $800,000 in 2009-10.

“Maxim is part of our core of young players who contribute to the success of our team,” Canadiens GM Bob Gainey said in a release. “The determination, grit and energy he brings to the ice are important assets that we are looking for in our young players.”

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The St-Leonard, Que., native has 30 points (13-17) and 84 penalty minutes in 100 career NHL games.

The Habs selected him in the second round, 61st overall, in the 2003 NHL draft.