The Ducks have signed defenseman Brandon Montour to a two-year contract through the 2019-20 NHL season.
Montour, 24 (4/11/94) has collected 11-27=38 points with a +27 rating in 107 career NHL games with the Ducks. The 6-0, 192-pound defenseman has also appeared in 21 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, earning eight assists (0-8=8) with a +10 rating.
Selected by Anaheim in the second round (55th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Montour co-led NHL defensemen and matched a franchise record for blueliners with five game-winning goals in 2017-18. With 9-23=32 points and a +16 rating in 80 games last season, Montour ranked second among Anaheim defensemen in goals and tied for second in points.
A native of Brantford, Ontario, Montour was named to the 2015-16 American Hockey League First All-Star Team and All-Rookie Team after recording 12-45=57 in his first full professional season at San Diego. Prior to the 2014 Draft, Montour was named the United States Hockey League's Player of the Year, Defenseman of the Year and a USHL First Team All-Star in 2013-14.
Montour held a conference call shortly after the announcement was made.
On the timeline
It's been an ongoing process since we finished up. There wasn't too much of a rush knowing we had this coming up. We knew it was going to get done. I'm in Toronto. I train in Toronto and live in Toronto. It works out for me. I met last week with them, and then we met yesterday and again this morning. Murph and the Ducks staff met last night and we all met this morning and got squared away before we had to do this arbitration thing.
On the importance of the term
My ears were open for everything. For the most part, as a player, I didn't really know what exactly I am right now. I know my strengths and believe in myself helping this team and being a key contributor to my team as of now and moving forward. We all agreed with a shorter term. Getting better as we keep going on. I've only played close to 150 games. The shorter term was the best fit for both of us. As we go on in the next year or two, we'll chat for hopefully a longer term like the rest of my D corps.
On the importance of getting a contract signed before the arbitration hearing
My agent has been really focused on me and teaching me. I've been learning the last year about this whole process. I knew it might come down to maybe an arbitration trial. It's just one of those things. It's obviously a business. They want you for less. It helps them with the [salary] cap and stuff like that. My team and the NHLPA wants to get what it's worth. Nobody wants to go into a hearing and have the team kind of put you down as if you're worth so and so. It could burn bridges and whatnot, but I've been drafted by this team. The relationship I've had with our staff, and the relationship they've had with me, it wasn't going to be that big of a deal. It didn't need to happen. It happens to players, and you got to do what you got to do, but for us, it works for both of us for the time being.
On if a shorter-term contract could help with a longer-term deal down the road
It definitely helps. The deal we have right now, from our standpoint, it's fair. The arbitrator could've went either way going lower or higher. That's the chance you take. We felt this was fair, as well as Murph and his staff. They felt it was a fair deal. I've told plenty of people I love it in Anaheim. How could you not? The staff and my teammates. Everything is unbelievable. The time I've had there so far has been great. Hopefully I get better each and every game, every year in the next two. The goal is to get that long-term deal. Hopefully we can take some time now and digest. Not have to worry about this anymore. Focus on the year, which will be nice. I want to be a Duck for a long time. That's what I'm going to strive to do.