With Daniel Briere and Ryan White out of the Canadiens picture, the Canadiens needed a fourth line centre. They solved the problem by signing 6’2” – 215 pound Manny Malhotra to a one year 850-thousand dollar contract. Malhotra played with Carolina last season.
Malhotra solves another problem for the Canadiens. He finished second among NHL centres in faceoff percentage at 59.4 percent.
Malhotra was a runner up for the Masterton Trophy this year after starting his season on a professional tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers of the East Coast Hockey League. He signed with Carolina four weeks later and wound up playing 69 games for them. In 2011 Malhotra suffered a major injury to his left eye, requiring several surgeries.
For the second time in four months the Canadiens grabbed off one of the Florida Panthers veteran defenseman. At the trade deadline they acquired Mike Weaver. Not only were the Canadiens able to re-sign Weaver to a one year 1.75 million dollar contract, they also signed another right hand shot off last year’s Florida defense in Tom Gilbert. Gilbert has a two-year contract at 2.8 million per.in 2011
Josh Gorges exercised his contract rights and refused a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Subsequently the Canadiens sent him to Buffalo for what probably will be a high second round 2016 draft choice. The Habs were determined to rid themselves of the remaining four years of his contract at 3.9 million per season.
In the overall scheme, the Canadiens rid themselves of Gorges 3.9 million dollar contract allowing them to resign Weaver and bring in Gilbert for a combined 4.55 million.
The Canadiens also announced the signing of Czech born 6’2″ centre/left wing Jiri Sekáč. to a two year two-way entry level contract. The 22 year old 6’0″ Sekáč was a late developing free agent. He played with LEV Prague in the KHL last season scoring 11 goals and 28 pooints in 47 games. Sekáč was part of the Czech Republic entry at this year’s World Championships scoring 2 goals in ten games. Before he returned to Europe Sekáč played in the USHL with Youngstown Ohio for two seasons afgter being cut by the OHL’s Peterborough Petes eight games into the 2009-2010 season. Sekac told the Czech website hockey.cz there were eight teams interested in his services. Tomas Plekanec, who is also from Sekac’s hometown of Kladno, helped persuade him that the Canadiens were the right fit for him.
In another move, the Canadiens announced the signing of 2013 6th round draft choice Jeremy Gregoire to a three year entry level contract. In 65 regular season games with Baie Comean he scored 35 goals and 69 points. Gregoire will be returning to junior hockey next season.
And in move late in the day, the Habs signed goaltender Joey MacDonald to a two way contract. MacDonald played in 11 games with Caglary last year with a 2.90 goals against and an .890 save percentage. He spent most of the season with the Flames Abbotsford farm team.
In other news – Former Canadiens captain Brian Gionta has signed a three year contract with the Buffalo Sabres at 4.5 million dollars a year. Thomas Vanek was only Devan Dubnyk, who played with Hamilton in the late stages of last season, was signed to a two year contract with Arizona at 800-thousand per year. UFA right wing Mike Blunden, who spent last season with Hamilton, signed a one year 600 thousand dollar contract with Tampa