Both products of the U.S. college ranks, Mike Komisarek and Christopher Higgins have become integral parts of the Canadiens' young nucleus.
MONTREAL - Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Friday the signing of forward Christopher Higgins and defenseman Mike Komisarek to two-year contracts (2007-08, 2008-09). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
"Christopher Higgins and Mike Komisarek are two of the young players we consider to be building blocks for the long term success of our team," said Gainey. "Christopher is a complete player with great offensive skills who improved consistently since making his NHL debut. Mike displayed outstanding defensive poise over the past seasons and his physical presence is an undeniable asset to our group of defensemen."
In 2006-07, the 24-year-old Higgins completed his second NHL season recording 38 points (22 goals, 16 assists) in 61 games and served 26 penalty minutes. At the start of the season, the Smithtown, New York native collected 13 points (8-5-13) in as many games before an ankle injury forced him out of the lineup for 18 games. Higgins had the third highest ice-time average among Canadiens forwards (17:54). He tallied three game-winning goals and ranked third in the Molson Cup standings (34 points).
Higgins, 6-foot, 202 lbs, has registered 76 points in 143 NHL regular season games (45 goals, 31 assists) including six game-winners, 15 power play goals and six shorthanded goals with a 14.6% (goals/shots) shooting percentage.
Komisarek, 25, completed his fourth NHL season in 2006-07. It was a career year for him with personal highs in games played (82), goals, assists and points (4-15-19). He also posted the second best plus/minus differential on the team (+7) behind Tomas Plekanec, who led the team at +10. Komisarek ranked fourth in the NHL, second among all NHL defensemen, with 248 hits. The West Islip, New York native is one of only two players (Michael Ryder) to have played in all Canadiens games in 2006-07.
Komisarek, 6-foot-4, 242 pounds, totaled 30 points (six goals, 24 assists in 220 NHL career regular season games). He was also assessed 274 penalty minutes.