The Montreal Canadiens have agreed to terms with free agent forward Phil Varone on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal is worth $700K in the NHL level but will pay the minor league veteran $450K in the AHL.
Varone, 28, actually got the biggest NHL opportunity of his career last season, playing 47 games with the Philadelphia Flyers. He recorded just seven points during that time in extremely limited minutes, but has been a top minor league scorer for years. In fact in 2017-18 with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Varone recorded 70 points in 74 games to rank second in the entire league—one point behind Laval Rocket forward Chris Terry, who has since moved on. Varone won the AHL MVP that season.
In Montreal, he’ll likely have to fight tooth and nail to secure a roster spot. The Canadiens already have ten forwards on more expensive one-way contracts, plus three restricted free agents and two entry-level players penciled in. That means he’s most likely ticketed for the minor leagues once again, where he will try to help the Rocket and serve as injury insurance for the Canadiens.