After making a pair of deals in the morning, the Habs continued to add just
before the trade deadline struck. The team made its second deal of the day
with Buffalo, acquiring another depth forward in Torrey Mitchell. The return is injured Hamilton Bulldog enforcer Jack Nevins and a 2016 7th
Mitchell, a Quebec native, was in his first full season with the Sabres after
being acquired from Minnesota at last year’s trade deadline. In 51 games
this year, he has six goals and seven assists with 26 PIMS and a -6 rating while
averaging 15:20 per game. In his career between the Sabres, the Wild, and
the Sharks, Mitchell has played in 443 games, collecting 42 goals and 64 assists
with 224 PIMS and a -10 rating.
Nevins signed with the Canadiens early last season while playing his overage
junior campaign. In his first full pro season, he has failed to record a
point in 32 games with 88 PIMS and a -8 rating. He has one year left on
his contract after this with a cap hit of $700,000 (including potential
bonuses). He is currently injured with an undisclosed upper body injury.
There are quite a few similarities between Mitchell and Brian Flynn, who the
Canadiens acquired earlier in the day. Both are forwards who can log time
on the penalty kill, both are right hand shots, and neither of them are
particularly strong at the faceoff dot. Mitchell’s faceoff percentage this
year is 47.2%, four-tenths of a percent lower than Flynn. Nonetheless,
it’s quite possible that the 30-year-old Mitchell supplants Manny Malhotra as
the fourth line centre.
Mitchell is in the final year of a heavily-back loaded three year deal.
His salary is $2.5 million while his cap hit comes in considerably lower at $1.9
million. However, Pierre LeBrun reports that the Sabres are holding back
half of Mitchell’s salary/cap hit, dropping Montreal’s portion to a $1.25 M
salary and a $950,000 cap hit.
As the deal was completed prior to the 3 PM EST deadline, the Habs needed to
be in compliance with the 23-man roster limit. To make room, Michael
Bournival was assigned to Hamilton.