If the Vegas Golden Knights’ flurry of moves wasn’t enough to satisfy those yearning for more long-term injured reserve (LTIR) machinations, the Montreal Canadiens have probably helped them out. The Canadiens have placed Jonathan Drouin on LTIR, according to PuckPedia. Drouin has been out since a late March contest against the Boston Bruins, and his season was ended by wrist surgery.
Drouin, 27, was the third-overall pick in the 2013 draft and has been known for his dazzling skills and somewhat enigmatic inability to parlay those skills into consistent production. He finishes this season with six goals and 20 points in 34 games, which is a 48-point pace. With next season being Drouin’s last before his $5.5MM AAV contract expires, it will be important for Drouin to put this injury-plagued year behind him and try to have as strong of a season as possible to set himself up for a valuable next contract.
For the Canadiens, placing Drouin on LTIR adds an interesting wrinkle to their season, which has largely been one to forget, save for the events following the hiring of interim coach Martin St. Louis. Because Drouin has been placed on LTIR, enough cap space has been “cleared” for the Canadiens to activate Carey Price, as noted by CapFriendly. Price has been practicing and seems to be recovered from the knee troubles that have cost him most of this season. He even traveled with the Canadiens for their road game in New Jersey. The Canadiens are a team in need of a lift, and Price’s return would undoubtedly represent a major one for their fanbase. With Drouin’s placement on LTIR, it seems that lift could arrive before this season comes to a close.