Another day, another re-signing for the Habs as Raphael Diaz has signed a two year deal. The contract is worth $2.45 million for a cap hit of $1.225 million. Diaz played his first season in North America in 2011-12 after joining Montreal as an unrestricted free agent in the 2011 offseason. He spent his entire career to that point with Zug of the Swiss league.
It was a successful rookie campaign for Diaz as after being considered a long shot to make the team out of camp, he wound up playing a top-4 role for large portions of the season. He finished fourth on the team in points by a blueliner with 16 (3 goals and 13 assists) including a career high three assist game in Ottawa just before the New Year. His 18 minutes of ice time per game tied him for 3rd among Montreal defencemen with Andrei Markov.
Diaz was also used regularly on both special teams units. He was one of just three defencemen (the others being P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges) to average at least both a minute per game on the powerplay and penalty kill. He also placed third behind those players in blocked shots, averaging well over 1.5 blocks per game.
This gives the Canadiens seven d-men on one-way deals, an amount that will soon become eight when P.K. Subban puts pen to paper. As it stands, they have just shy of $20 million committed to their defence corps so far. Personally speaking, I thought Diaz would sign for more than this; I have adjusted the cap situation article from earlier this month to reflect the new estimates to get a sense of what the Habs will have left to spend in the offseason, that article can be found here.