Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that David Savard has signed a four-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens. He’ll be making $3.5MM per season on this contract, which could take him through retirement at age 34 when the deal expires in 2025.
Savard will join the team that his Tampa Bay Lighting just knocked off in the Stanley Cup Final, but more importantly the team from his home province of Quebec. The St. Hyacinthe native is yet another player who signed with his hometown team when the market opened today, though he didn’t exactly offer a hometown discount. The veteran is still a solid defensive defenseman and was highly sought-after at the trade deadline, but once he arrived in Tamp, the career Columbus Blue Jacket failed to make much of an impact. Savard was held scoreless and recorded a team-worst -8 rating in 14 regular season games for the Bolts, leading to a severely limited role in the playoffs of just 14 minutes per night. Montreal has to hope that they get the dependable defender they saw in Columbus over the last decade and not the non-factor from Tampa Bay.
If Savard declines, his contract will hurt the Habs quickly. However, if he returns to form then Savard will be a big help in making up for the long-term and possibly permanent absence of Shea Weber. At his best, Savard can provide the shutdown defense that Montreal has chased in years past with additions like Ben Chiarot and Joel Edmundson. It’s that depth in sound defensive players that allows someone like Jeff Petry or Alexander Romanov to jump into the play as dangerous offensive threats. As Montreal tries to maintain that balance on their blue line, Savard will come in handy.