Meet some of the new guys!
Marc Bergevin was very busy yesterday, signing four new players to the Montreal Canadiens roster. In case you missed it, here are some of the new faces that we will see in a Habs uniform this October.
Being one of the earliest signings of the day, the 30-year-old D-man knew right away that he wanted to play in his hometown, telling the media: “No matter the salary, when they offered the contract we said yes right away.” Savard was signed to a four-year contract with an AAV of 3.5 million. This is, without a doubt, a good deal. Savard was expected to get at least 4 million on the open market, therefore it is clear that he took a discount to play here.
Hoffman is a natural goal-scorer, with seven consecutive 20+ goal seasons. His play will definitely be needed to improve the Habs’ struggling power-play, which has lacked a true sniper for a few years. Even more encouraging is the contract itself, which sees Hoffman locked for three seasons at an AAV of 4.5 million, which is 1 million less than what Phil Danault got in LA. Although losing Danault is difficult for the Canadiens, I believe that Hoffman has more upside. The Habs are in need of a goal scorer, and that is what Hoffman is.
By signing Paquette, the Habs are getting someone who can not only bring solid depth to the fourth line (which is definitely needed now with the departure of Corey Perry) but has Stanley Cup experience, winning the cup in 2020 with the Lightning. Being from Quebec, Paquette wasn’t shy to show his excitement for joining the Habs, saying that he will “go through a wall for that team”. The contract has a one-year length and an AAV of 950k.
It was announced that Wideman was returning to the NHL with the Habs a day before free agent day, however, we now know the term and value of the contract, which is 750k for one year. As I said in my last article, Wideman spent the last two seasons in the KHL, where he put up great numbers for a defenseman. This is a solid, low-risk signing. If Wideman is able to find his game in the NHL again, he can be extremely useful as a shutdown guy and on the power-play. If he doesn’t perform well, he is signed at almost a league minimum, so the contract won’t hurt the team.
The entry of new players also means the exit of others. As I mentioned earlier, Phillip Danault and Corey Perry have both signed with new teams (Danault to LA, Perry to Tampa). It also appears that Tomas Tatar will also be signing elsewhere. Danault’s departure didn’t bother me, as although I praised his play in the playoffs and said that he was worth whatever he asked for, a goal scorer like Hoffman is what the Habs need, and Phil isn’t that. Seeing Perry leave was a little bit harder. I truly believed that Perry would resign in Montreal. Not only was he a major reason for our success in the post-season, but he was very vocal about wanting to be a part of this team in the future.
In my opinion, the Habs were one of the winners of the free-agent frenzy. They managed to sign four solid players with four solid contracts, and I look forward to seeing how these new guys will turn out in Montreal.