With Nikita Nesterov being acquired late last week and the potential returns of Greg Pateryn and Andrei Markov in the near future, the Habs made a move to clear the pending logjam, placing Zach Redmond on waivers on Monday. He passed through unclaimed at noon EST on Tuesday.
Redmond signed with the Canadiens back on the first day of free agency, inking a two year deal worth the league minimum salary in both seasons, a cap hit of $612,500. After a decent preseason where he scored twice in four games, he broke his foot in practice early in the season which caused him to miss 18 games.
His return to the lineup in late November came just before Pateryn broke his ankle so as a result, Redmond has been a regular for a good chunk of the last six weeks, save for a stint from Ryan Johnston who struggled mightily. In 16 games with Montreal, he has five assists while averaging 12:19 of ice time per game.
He routinely has been the sixth defender and head coach Michel Therrien has been hesitant to use him in the third period of most games which has played a lot of pressure on Shea Weber and Jeff Petry to log heavy minutes. Accordingly, it’s not too surprising that he finds himself the odd man out now.
Having cleared waivers, the Habs have assigned Redmond to St. John’s, giving them a much-needed boost to their back end. He’ll also likely serve as the first call-up if further injuries hit Montreal’s blueline.