Although training camp is still more than two months away, the Habs are getting a head start on their invitation list as they’ve invited defenceman Simon Despres to camp.
The 26-year-old spent last season with HC Slovan Bratislava of the KHL after being bought out of the final four years of his contract by Anaheim last July. Last season, Despres played in 44 KHL contests and was fairly quiet overall, posting just 11 points along with a -13 rating and 84 PIMS, while ranking fourth among their regular blueliners in ice time at 19:14 per game.
Despres has had success at the NHL level in the past but concussion troubles had limited him to just 33 games over his final two seasons with the Ducks. Overall, he has played in 193 NHL contests between Anaheim and Pittsburgh, collecting 43 points along with a +31 rating and 150 PIMS while logging just shy of 17 minutes a night.
The Laval native made it clear earlier this offseason that he was looking to return to playing North America and suggested he may be willing to suit up in Laval with the Rocket. At this point, that has to be considered the likeliest outcome as the Canadiens have plenty of left-shot defenders under contract already. However, if Montreal winds up dealing some of that depth over the next couple of months, that could certainly change as well.