Earlier this week the Montreal Canadiens held a press conference at which a stunning announcement was made. The Canadiens and Plekanec's had for all intents and purposes made the decision to mutually terminate the contract the two sides had negotiated just months before for the purpose of facilitating Plekanec's retirement from the National hockey League.
The news caught many by surprise not only due to the fact that Plekanec had just signed a contract with the Canadiens just a few months earlier, but also due to the fact that he seemed to be a fairly solid performer for the Toronto Maple Leafs after that organization acquired him via trade at the 2018 National Hockey League trade deadline. In spite of that however a stoic Plekanec stood before the media and fielded questions all the while making his decision to walk away from the NHL official.
Although I personally do not believe this to be the case, some have speculated that this move may very well have been the plan all along from the Canadiens perspective. It was obvious when Plekanec signed a 1 year deal worth $2.25 million earlier in the summer that there were alter motives to the signing, most notably Plekanec earning his 1000th career game in the NHL as a member of the Canadiens organization. Unfortunately he will never reach that milestone as a Hab due to the fact that general manager Marc Bergevin traded him to the Leafs last season, something that also denies Plekanec the ability to say he only played for one team throughout his entire career. Those decisions however are of a business nature and one has to wonder whether or not Bergevin would have made the move if he had allowed his personal feelings to play a role. One thing is certain however, the fans in Montreal would not have made the move if they had let their feelings play a factor.
On Saturday night, with Plekanec in the press box alongside the aforementioned Bergevin, the Habs made a classy move by thanking Plekanec's for his years of service and giving him one final goodbye in front of the Montreal faithful at the Bell Centre. The fans gave him exactly the kind of ovation that such a loyal player deserves, and the moment was too much for the normally stoic Plekanec who let his emotions flow freely.