Posts Tagged ‘Montreal Canadiens’

Longtime defenseman P.K. Subban is ending his NHL tenure, he announced Tuesday.

The 33-year-old won the Norris Trophy in 2013 and played his final three campaigns with the New Jersey Devils after three seasons with the Nashville Predators and parts of seven with the Montreal Canadiens to begin his career.

In June, Subban claimed the King Clancy Trophy in recognition of his leadership and humanitarian contributions, particularly his commitment to social justice and COVID-19 relief. He was a finalist for the honor three other times.

“I never looked at myself or ever felt I was ‘just a hockey player,'” Subban wrote Tuesday. “I always looked at myself as a person who happened to play hockey. Having that perspective allowed me to enjoy every shift like it was my last, celebrate every goal with emotion, and play every game as if someone paid to watch me play who had never seen me play before.”

He’s been involved with several groups promoting diversity in hockey and co-chaired the NHL’s Player Inclusion Committee.

Subban collected 115 goals and 352 assists in 834 games over more than 12 campaigns. He suited up for two contests to begin his career in 2009-10.

The Toronto-born blue-liner was an All-Star in three straight seasons from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

The Canadiens traded him to the Predators for Shea Weber in a blockbuster deal on June 29, 2016, just 20 minutes after the Edmonton Oilers sent Taylor Hall to the Devils for defenseman Adam Larsson.

EA Sports made Subban the cover athlete for NHL 19 while he was with Nashville. He was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team in 2010-11.

Several of Quebec’s major party leaders say new Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki needs to learn French.

Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault said the Habs made an “excellent choice,” describing the center as one of the team’s best players, before adding that Suzuki now has to learn French.

The Canadiens announced the appointment of the 23-year-old Ontario native as the team’s captain on Monday. He has played for the Canadiens for three seasons after being acquired from Las Vegas in a trade.

Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade told reporters it would be a good thing if Suzuki learned French, adding that living in Quebec is an opportunity to learn the language. Parti Québécois Leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon described Suzuki as a “very good choice” for captain but added that it is important for the Habs captain to learn French because the position involves a bond with a Quebec fan base that has supported the team for generations.

“It’s a true honor for me and a privilege,” Suzuki told reporters before the comments from the party leaders. “This team’s headed in a great direction, and I couldn’t be more excited to be the captain and represent the team. It means a lot, just to see the respect the management, teammates, (and) coaches have for me. I know it’s a big role, but I think I’m ready for it.”

Playing all 82 games last season, Suzuki led the Canadiens in scoring with 21 goals and 40 assists for 61 points. Those totals were all career highs, though the team finished last in the Eastern Conference in a season marred by injury.

“There’s been a lot of highs and lows, a lot of learning experiences,” said Suzuki, whose great-grandparents emigrated to Canada from Japan. “I think I’ve got to handle each situation really well, just lead by example again. It’s a privilege to have that pressure on you. We want to win hockey games and that’s the biggest reason we’re here.”

The Montreal Canadiens have named Nick Suzuki captain heading into the 2022-23 season.

Brendan Gallagher and Joel Edmundson will serve as alternates. The leadership group was introduced at a team event on Monday.

Suzuki, 23, is the 31st captain in Canadiens history and the youngest they’ve ever appointed. He takes the honor from Shea Weber, who wore the “C” in Montreal for four years but missed all of last season due to injuries. Weber was dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights this offseason.

“He’s the heartbeat of our team,” Gallagher said of Suzuki, according to Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas.

Montreal acquired Suzuki from the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018 in a trade that sent Max Pacioretty – Montreal’s captain for three years – the other way.

Suzuki made the All-Rookie team during his debut season with the Canadiens in 2018-19. He’s established himself as Montreal’s top center with 149 points in 203 career games. Suzuki signed an eight-year, $63-million extension that’s set to kick in this coming season.

Six NHL teams remain without a captain: the Buffalo Sabres, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Seattle Kraken, and Calgary Flames.

Winger Mathieu Perreault is calling it quits on his playing career after 13 NHL seasons and is joining TVA Sports as a broadcaster, according to a release from the TV network.

The Quebec native was an unrestricted free agent. He played out the 2021-22 campaign with the Montreal Canadiens, logging four goals and five assists in 25 contests.

Perreault spent most of his NHL career with the Winnipeg Jets, where he enjoyed some of his best statistical seasons. He logged a career-best 45 points in 65 contests during the 2016-17 campaign and scored a career-high 18 goals in 2014-15.

The 34-year-old scored four goals in a game against the Florida Panthers in January 2015 and became the first player in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history to accomplish the feat since Ilya Kovalchuk in 2005.

Perreault hit the 15-goal mark five times during his NHL tenure and eclipsed 40 points in a single season on four occasions.

Selected by the Capitals in the sixth round of the 2006 draft, Perreault spent four seasons in Washington before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks prior to the 2013-14 campaign. After one season in California, Perreault signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent.

Known for his versatility and energy on the ice, Perreault potted 143 goals and 209 assists over 708 regular-season games. He added 16 points in 51 playoff contests.

The Montreal Canadiens signed restricted free-agent goaltender Cayden Primeau to a three-year, one-way pact Thursday with an average annual value of $890,000.

Primeau, 23, was the last RFA remaining on the Habs’ books. He will remain an RFA once his new pact expires.

The Michigan native appeared in 12 contests for the struggling Canadiens in 2021-22, posting a 1-7-1 record alongside a 4.62 goals against average and .868 save percentage.

Primeau spent the majority of the season with the AHL’s Laval Rocket, where he put up a 16-12-3 record and a .909 clip in 33 outings. He went on to author a sterling .936 save percentage in 14 playoff games to help the Rocket make the AHL’s Eastern Conference Final.

With Carey Price largely expected to miss the 2022-23 campaign, Montreal will now be relying on Jake AllenSamuel Montembeault, and Primeau to tend the crease.

The Canadiens selected him in the seventh round of the 2017 draft. Primeau owns a career 4.21 goals against average and .874 save percentage in 18 showings across three NHL seasons.

The Montreal Canadiens and restricted free-agent center Kirby Dach agreed to a four-year contract with an average annual value of $3.36 million on Wednesday.

Dach will still be a restricted free agent once his new pact expires.

The Habs acquired Dach from the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-way trade during the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft in July.

Montreal sent defenseman Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick to the New York Islanders in exchange for the 13th overall selection. The Canadiens then flipped the 13th and 66th overall picks to the Blackhawks.

The 21-year-old, who the Blackhawks selected third overall in the 2019 draft, has yet to make his mark in the NHL. Dach suited up for a career-high 70 games in 2021-22, mustering nine goals and 17 assists while averaging just over 18 minutes of ice time per contest. Dach also struggled in the faceoff circle – he won just 32.8% of his draws this past season.

All in all, Dach has logged 19 goals and 40 assists in 152 career contests, all with the Blackhawks.

The Alberta native said joining the Canadiens is a bit of a “restart” for his game after an underwhelming three seasons in Chicago.

“I’ve talked to (head coach Martin St. Louis) a few times about just coming here and playing with an open mind,” Dach said during a press conference Wednesday. “Just being ready when camp starts and kind of prove myself and enjoy the game of hockey again. Play some good games and see where it takes me.”

General manager Kent Hughes is hoping a change of scenery will be just what Dach needs to get on the right track.

“There’s no such thing as being 100% certain in this business, but we believe he’s got a lot of potential,” Hughes said. “We believe in this environment, with our group, with our coach, with our development group, and the character of the locker room that this is a better environment for Kirby Dach. … We’re prepared to bet on it.”

Injuries have sidetracked Dach’s young career: He broke his wrist while serving as Team Canada’s captain at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship and was only able to suit up for 18 NHL games during the shortened 2020-21 campaign.

The move put the Canadiens around $10.2 million over the cap, according to CapFriendly. However, Hughes confirmed Wednesday that the Habs have placed injured goaltender Carey Price on offseason long-term injured reserve, bringing them right under the salary cap, TSN’s John Lu reports.

Hughes said the Habs are inching closer to getting a deal done with goaltender Cayden Primeau, the team’s sole remaining restricted free agent.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said Carey Price is unlikely to suit up during the 2022-23 season as the veteran netminder copes with longstanding knee injuries, according to The Athletic’s Arpon Basu.

Hughes added there’s a slim chance Price will be able to play again without undergoing another knee operation. The Canadiens will place Price on long-term injured reserve and expect an update after his training camp physical.

The 35-year-old underwent knee surgery in the summer of 2021 after carrying the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final. While rehabbing the injury for several months, he also entered the NHL’s player assistance program before the 2021-22 campaign.

Price appeared in five games in the latter stages of this past season – his 15th with the Canadiens – and in April said he doesn’t believe his injured knee would allow him to handle a full campaign’s workload in the future. He also acknowledged he may have played his last NHL game.

Placing Price and his $10.5-million cap hit on LTIR will give Montreal space to put Sean Monahan‘s $6.375 million on its books. The Canadiens traded for the veteran center along with a conditional first-round pick on Thursday.

Price is under contract until after the 2025-26 season. He inked an eight-year, $84-million extension in 2017 to become the NHL’s highest-paid goaltender. At the time of signing, Price owned a career .920 save percentage across 500 starts along with a Hart Trophy, a Vezina Trophy, and an Olympic gold medal.

Since then, Price has battled injuries and posted a .908 clip in 203 appearances. He’s saved his best for the playoffs in recent years, registering a .927 save percentage and three shutouts in 32 combined postseason games in 2020 and 2021.

The Calgary Flames are signing unrestricted free agent Nazem Kadri to a seven-year contract carrying a $7 million average annual value, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Calgary is also trading longtime center Sean Monahan to the Montreal Canadiens to accommodate Kadri’s deal, according to Friedman. The Flames entered the day with approximately $2.7 million in cap space, according to Cap Friendly, and get an additional $6.375 million off the books by moving Monahan.

Monahan, a three-time 30-goal scorer, dealt with major hip injuries in recent years. The 27-year-old was limited to 65 games this past season, didn’t appear in the playoffs, and registered a career-low 23 points.

Kadri was the top player remaining on the open market. He posted 87 points in 71 games last season with the Colorado Avalanche and played a significant role in helping the club capture the Stanley Cup.

The Flames and Kadri have been talking since free agency opened in July, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Francis.

Kadri nixed a trade to the Flames in 2019 before the Toronto Maple Leafs dealt him to the Avalanche. The veteran center said at the time he had “nothing against Calgary” and vetoed the move because he wanted to remain with the team that drafted him in 2009.

Calgary, the reigning Pacific Division champion, has been one of the league’s busiest teams this offseason. It lost Johnny Gaudreau in free agency, then dealt Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers for a package headlined by Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar. After the trade, the Flames inked Huberdeau to an eight-year, $84-million extension.

Former Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme was disappointed to discover he wasn’t on the same page as the club’s new executives, and he says he wasn’t given an opportunity to provide his perspective.

“That’s the side of it that hurts, or that’s most disappointing to me, is not having the chance to sit down with them to tell them how I saw hockey,” Ducharme told The Athletic’s Marc Antoine Godin.

“If the plan was to lose (as many) games (as) we could and to play the young players, I would have liked to have known because I would have had a different approach with them,” Ducharme said. “I was trying to squeeze as much as I could everywhere to try and get some results. I saw teams that had games canceled because five of their players had COVID. We had 10 and another eight who were injured, and we still played …”

Ducharme led the Canadiens to an unexpected Stanley Cup Final berth in 2021 after taking over that February following Claude Julien’s firing. But it didn’t take long for the aforementioned injuries and the team’s lackluster play to send the Habs spiraling toward the bottom of the league standings in the following season.

As a result, Montreal fired general manager Marc Bergevin in November and immediately named Jeff Gorton executive vice president of hockey operations. The Canadiens hired player agent Kent Hughes as their new GM in January. The new brass then fired Ducharme in February, replacing him with Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis, who had no previous pro coaching experience.

Though they still finished last in the NHL, the Habs were re-energized under St. Louis, and no one benefited more from the coaching change than rookie Cole Caufield. The Calder Trophy favorite entering the campaign produced only one goal and seven assists in 30 games under Ducharme but erupted for 22 tallies and 13 helpers over 37 contests after the move.

Ducharme isn’t happy to be repeatedly told he cost Caufield the Calder, saying, “hearing that sucks.”

He also didn’t appreciate the double standard he felt existed in terms of his tenure compared to when the club hired St. Louis.

“We were always seen as the team that went to the Stanley Cup Final, and that couldn’t win,” he said. “The coaching change sent a message to the fans and the players that ‘we’re rebuilding, we’re going to put our faith in the young players.’ The result was no longer important; Martin could talk about moral victories. Me, if I talked about moral victories, I would get ripped.”

The Canadiens went 23-46-14 in two partial seasons with Ducharme at the helm. He took over from Julien after serving as a Habs assistant beginning in 2018.

The Montreal Canadiens are shipping defenseman Jeff Petry to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Petry and forward Ryan Poehling are headed to Pittsburgh, while Montreal receives blue-liner Mike Matheson and a 2023 fourth-round draft pick.

This is the Penguins’ second trade Saturday. They acquired Petry less than three hours after swapping rearguards with the New Jersey Devils. Pittsburgh sent John Marino to the Devils for Ty Smith and a 2023 third-rounder.

Petry is under contract through 2024-25 at a $6.25-million cap hit, according to CapFriendly. The Canadiens aren’t retaining any salary in the trade, per Sportsnet’s Eric Engels.

The 34-year-old played the last seven-plus seasons in Montreal and was a key contributor for much of his tenure. He helped the club make an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2021, averaging over 24 minutes per game in the playoffs.

Petry had long been rumored to be a trade candidate as the Canadiens’ new regime hasn’t shied away from reshaping the roster. The 12-year veteran began his career with the Edmonton Oilers, who traded him to Montreal in March 2015 after he played four-plus campaigns in the Alberta capital.

The grizzled veteran declined this past campaign but enjoyed several productive years beforehand. Petry scored at least 10 goals and notched 40 points or more in each of the previous four seasons.

Poehling played a career-high 57 games for Montreal in 2021-22, posting nine goals and eight assists while averaging 12:12 of ice time. The Canadiens drafted him 25th overall in 2017. Poehling’s entering the final season of the two-year contract he inked with the Habs last August.

Matheson registered a career-high 31 points in 74 games with the Penguins this past campaign. The 28-year-old has played six-plus NHL seasons; the last two with Pittsburgh after starting off with the Florida Panthers.