As expected, the Habs signed a defenceman who played in the World
Championships. However, it’s not the player you think. On Friday,
Montreal announced the signing of Swiss blueliner Raphael Diaz to a 1 year,
two-way contract beginning next season. As per team policy, financial
terms of the deal weren’t released.
The 5’11, 194 lb defenceman has spent the last 8 seasons with Zug of the NLA,
Switzerland’s top hockey league. He set career highs this past season in
basically every offensive category by picking up 12 goals and 27 assists in 45
games to go along with 26 PIMS. He also had 6 points (2-4-6) in 10 playoff
Diaz also represented Switzerland at the World Championships, the 4th
consecutive time he has been named to the team. In 6 games, he picked up 3
goals and an assist while playing just under 21 minutes per game. His game-by-game stats plus some other notes can be found in our IIHF StatTracker, linked below. He was
also part of the Swiss Olympic team in 2010.
The Habs won the bidding war for Diaz’s services over Chicago and Anaheim. Tampa Bay was rumoured to be interested as well while the Stars made a late offer just before he committed to the contract with Montreal.