Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has announced that the team has reached an agreement with pending restricted free-agent Nicolas Deslauriers on a new two-year contract.
TVA reporter and Habs insider Renaud Lavoie has confirmed that the deal is worth $950,000 per season and will expire following the 2019-20 season.
The 26-year-old winger has bounced around the NHL a bit in his young career, having been originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings before moving on to the Buffalo Sabres and now the Canadiens. In just 36 games with the Habs this season, the 6’1”, 215 pound left winger has seven goals and 10 points. While he’s unlikely to ever provide much goal scoring or offensive production at the NHL level, Deslauriers is a reliable, two-way winger who can slot in nicely on either the Habs’ 3rd or 4th line.
Blackhawks trade Kempny to Capitals
In other NHL news, the Chicago Blackhawks traded defensman Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 3rd round pick this afternoon.
The 27-year-old Kempny is a pending unrestricted free-agent on a cheap $900,000 annual salary and represents a cost effective rental addition for the Capitals. In just his second NHL season, Kempny has played 31 games for the Hawks this season, collecting one goal and seven points. In 50 games during his rookie season last year, he put up just two goals and eight points in 50 games. To say that Kempny is a defensive specialist may be the understatement of the century.
Regardless, he represents a low cost, low risk addition for the playoff bound Capitals. On the flip side, the Kempny trade may finally signal that the Blackhawks are ready to sell off some assets in an effort to get younger for next season. The perennial Stanley Cup favorites have stumbled through the 2017-18 season and, at this point, it would take nothing short of a miracle for them to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
A December injury to starting goalie Corey Crawford has put the team in a serious hole... one that they seemingly cannot crawl out of. Does the Kempny trade mean that GM Stan Bowman is finally ready to give up on this season and look ahead to the future?