Centre depth appears to be a focus for the Habs in free agency. After inking Tomas Plekanec, the team has also added Matthew Peca on a two-year, $2.6 million contract.
Peca is relatively untested at the NHL level with just 20 games under his belt. However, ten of those came last season where he fared quite well, collecting two goals and three assists while winning nearly 57% of his faceoffs. It’s clear Montreal believes there is some untapped upside as a result.
The 25-year-old spent the majority of last season with Syracuse of the AHL where he posted his third straight 40+-point season with 13 goals and 33 assists in 63 games. He chipped in with three goals and six assists in six postseason contests as well.
At first glance, it’s a little unclear as to where Peca fits in with the Habs. With Plekanec and Jacob de la Rose, their bottom two centre spots are already filled, they have plenty of wing depth, and they’re probably not paying someone $1.3 million a year to play in Laval. Management clearly thinks there is some potential here so it will be interesting to see what role they envision for him next season.