(Updated December 3rd, 12:10 PM EST.)
The good news for Michael Bournival is that he’s ready to return to action. The bad news is that his return won’t be with the Canadiens as he cleared waivers on Thursday and has been assigned to St. John’s of the AHL.
Bournival has missed the entire season so far while he recovered from a recurrence of concussion symptoms that crept up at the beginning of training camp. He missed the final two months of last season after suffering (and playing through) a concussion in February.
Last year, the 23 year old played in 29 games with Montreal, picking up three goals and two assists. He also suited up for 12 contests for the Hamilton Bulldogs on a couple of separate stints, tallying three goals and six helpers. It was in his last stint with Hamilton that he was shut down for the season.
That the Canadiens waived him shouldn’t be taken as a sign that he won’t be part of the plans moving forward, assuming he clears. Having sat for as long as he has, Bournival is going to need several weeks at the very least to get back into game shape.
Bournival’s injury-prorated cap hit of just over $429,000 now comes off the cap, giving the team some more flexibility in that area. (Bournival’s cap hit is $600,000 but because he is was injured on a two-way deal while spending time in the minors last year, he’s eligible for a reduced cap hit based on the amount of time he was on Montreal’s roster in 2014-15.)
Bournival will be a welcome addition to a St. John’s team that has been depleted up front. Three forwards are up with Montreal (Andrighetto, Thomas, and Carr) while four others (Crisp, de la Rose, Eisenschmid, and Scherbak) are all injured. The team is currently carrying just 12 healthy forwards. Bournival could see game action as soon as Friday when the IceCaps travel to Utica to take on the Comets.