The Habs have settled one of their two potential arbitration hearings as they’ve signed winger Joel Armia to a one-year, $1.85 million contract. The deal doubles his cap hit from last year ($925,000). The two sides were scheduled for an arbitration hearing on July 25th.
Montreal acquired Armia from Winnipeg late last month in a deal that saw them take on Steve Mason’s contract (who they subsequently bought out). The 25-year-old is coming off the best season of his career after posting 12 goals and 17 assists in 79 games with the Jets last season despite averaging just 12:36 per game.
While he hasn’t exactly lived up to his first-round billing, Armia has shown he can handle a third-line role and has shown flashes of offensive upside. Given Montreal’s dearth of right-shot wingers (a list that basically starts and ends with Brendan Gallagher and Andrew Shaw), Armia should have a chance to take on a bigger role in Montreal next season than he had with the Jets.
With the signing, Montreal has three remaining restricted free agents. Phillip Danault is the most notable of the three and has an arbitration hearing set for next Friday so talks should really pick up in the coming days. The other two RFAs, Michael McCarron and Kerby Rychel, should be putting pen to paper on new deals in the near future as their qualifying offers are set to expire on Sunday which sort of represents a soft deadline for their deals getting done.