The Habs added some more grit to the organization on Wednesday as they acquired winger Nicolas Deslauriers from the Sabres in exchange for defenceman Zach Redmond. Deslauriers was immediately assigned to Laval of the AHL.
Deslauriers played in 42 games with Buffalo last season but had a minor role with the team. He averaged only 7:25 per game (a career low) while putting up just two assists and 38 penalty minutes. The 26-year-old had spent the last three full seasons at the NHL level but cleared waivers less than a week ago and had been assigned to AHL Rochester.
Redmond was in his second season with Montreal and split last season between the Habs and their AHL affiliate in St. John’s. He played in 16 games for the Canadiens in 2016-17, recording five assists while averaging 12:19 per night. With the IceCaps, he was a key cog of their back end, often playing a top pairing role while providing some strong offensive contributions as well, collecting four goals and 14 assists in just 26 games. However, with Montreal’s added defensive depth this offseason plus Noah Juulsen’s eventual arrival in Laval and some extra veteran players, Redmond was likely to be in a battle for playing time this season.
It’s worth noting that Deslauriers also qualifies for veteran status in the AHL so this deal doesn’t really change anything on that end other than it gives the team a player they may be more comfortable calling on if they need some grit up front.
Both players are in the final season of one-way contracts. Deslauriers will earn $775,000 this season while Redmond will earn the league minimum $650,000 (with a slightly lower cap hit of $612,500). Both will become unrestricted free agents in the summer.