Montreal Canadiens Free Agency Review: Gorges, Malholtra, Gilbert, Sekac


This will be a tracker for all of the moves the Montreal Canadiens will be making on Canada Day. The moves are coming fast and furious today and Marc Bergevin is very busy.

The Montreal Canadiens finally announced a Josh Gorges trade, and it is not to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canadiens traded the defenceman to the Buffalo Sabres in return for a 2016 second round pick.

Gorges was scheduled to make $3.9 million for the next three seasons, and the Canadiens seemed to know they needed more right-handed defencemen. Gorges just didn’t fit into their plan anymore. Gorges added six teams to his original 15 to help Montreal out. Gorges said he refused a trade to Toronto because he grew to hate that team.

They opened the day signing Manny Malholtra to a one-year contract for $850,000. Malholtra immediately becomes the Canadiens fourth line center and top face off man. I think it’s a great value pick up and fills a need for the Canadiens.

They also signed defenceman Tom Gilbert. Gilbert is a puck moving defenceman who is a right-hand shot and it is a really nice addition. His Corsi has been positive over his career and saved $1.1 million over Gorges’s cap hit as it is only $2.8 million.

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Speaking of right handed defencemen, Mike Weaver was re-signed for one year and $1.75 million. A very nice keep for the Canadiens to keep their depth on defence.

The Canadiens also signed Jiri Sekac. He is a 22-year old winger who played in the KHL last year and put up some solid numbers. Bob McKenzie says upwards of 15 teams were interested in him. He might have a chance to instantly play on Montreal’s top nine next year. It will be interesting to see.

He is a 6’0, 175 lb forward who played briefly in the Ontario Hockey League and USHL before going to the KHL. He had 11 goals and 17 assists in 47 games last year.

In the former Canadiens department, Brian Gionta signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract which pretty much explains why he is no longer a Canadien. Too many years, and too much money. He will rejoin Gorges in Buffalo.

Thomas Vanek, as expected, signed a contract with the Minnesota Wild. It was for 3 years and an average of $6.5 million per year. It is expected that he wanted Minnesota and left more money and years on the table.