The Montreal Canadiens have landed an experienced veteran at a tremendous discount. Coming off of a four-year, $16.5MM contract with the Winnipeg Jets, forward Mathieu Perreault has settled for a one-year, $950K deal with the Habs, reports TVA’s Renaud Lavoie. The 33-year-old Quebec native and former QMJHL star returns home after a dozen years away with three different NHL teams.
Lavoie notes that Perreault has always wanted to play for the Canadiens and his new contract says the same thing. Perreault is an incredibly effective defensive forward who often doesn’t get enough credit for excelling at the little things. That value alone exceeds his low-money deal, but Perreault’s willingness to play physical and his offensive contribution make the deal a steal. Perreault is no longer a perennial 40+ point player, but he has quietly kept up a .34 points per game pace over the past three seasons which would put him back in 30-point contention with a full season.
How Montreal decides to utilize Perreault will be the interesting part of this deal. The Stanley Cup finalists appear set in their top nine with most of their roster returning and Mike Hoffman joining the fold and Perreault is able to play a fourth line role, but could certainly push his fellow forwards for ice time and responsibility. At the very least, he is high-end replacement option in case of injury in the top nine while anchoring the fourth line.