Marc Bergevin made his first move to add to the defence corps on Sunday as
Montreal has signed former Hab Francis Bouillon to a 1 year, $1.5 million
contract. He spent the past three seasons with the Nashville Predators;
his salary in 2011-12 was also $1.5 million. Bouillon will turn 37 early
in the upcoming season.
Despite his small stature, the newest Montreal defenceman has always played
with a physical edge; he averaged over 3 hits per game in 2010-11. He
played a lesser role with Nashville this past year although he still averaged
just over 17:30 per game; that total did, however, drop to just under 15 minutes
per game in the postseason. In 2011-12, he had 4 goals and 7 assists with
33 PIMS in 66 games plus a trio of assists in 10 playoff contests. In 3
years with the Predators, Bouillon had 32 points in 191 regular season games
while suiting up for 17 playoff contests.
The bulk of his playing days have been in the Canadiens organization.
He has played parts of 9 seasons with the Habs, playing over 500 games between
the regular season and playoffs. His career high in points is 22 back in
2005-06. He has yet to play in every game in a single season. Reports suggest that 4 teams (one being Montreal) tendered Bouillon offers in the first couple of hours of free agency.
Bouillon is very familiar with new coach Michel Therrien, having played for
him four times already – twice in the QMJHL (Laval and Granby), once in the AHL
with Fredericton, plus once with the Habs in Therrien’s first stint with the
club. He has an arena named after him in the Montreal area.