For the second time in three days, the Habs announced a re-signing in the hours leading up to puck drop in the Stanley Cup Final. This time, it’s Torrey Mitchell receiving a new three year contract through the 2017-18 season, foregoing unrestricted free agency in the process. The deal will carry a cap hit of $1.2 million.
Mitchell joined the Canadiens at the trade deadline back in March from the Buffalo Sabres for the low, low price of minor league enforcer Jack Nevins and a 2016 7th round pick. He suited up in fourteen regular seasons with the Habs, picking up just a single assist. However, he logged some important minutes on the penalty kill and won an impressive 56.9% of his faceoffs with Montreal. For the year (between the Sabres and Canadiens), Mitchell posted six goals and eight assists, the third highest point total of his career.
In the postseason, the 30 year old made much more of a mark on the scoresheet, picking up a goal and four assists in twelve games while averaging 12:30 per game, nearly 2:30 more per contest than in the regular season. However, he wasn’t as effective at the faceoff dot, winning just 49.6% of his faceoffs. That falls more in line with his career numbers as he has spent most of his career (and most of 2014-15) on the right wing and not centre.
Last month, I pegged Mitchell’s value between $1.1 and $1.25 million but only on a one or two year deal. Three year deals for fourth line forwards are somewhat rare in this day and age but it’s not an overly pricey fourth line player at the very least.
The deal now gives the Canadiens 38 players under contract for next season (not including seven restricted free agents). Eleven forwards are now under contract, with deals still to be negotiated with RFA’s Alex Galchenyuk, Brian Flynn, Michael Bournival, and Christian Thomas. The payroll now sits at $66.475 million with 20 players signed.
In other news Monday, the team invited a pair of 21 year old players from the Victoria Royals to training camp, 5’8 centre Brandon Magee and 6’2 defenceman Travis Brown, formerly a 5th round draft pick of the Blackhawks.