With his arbitration hearing creeping closer, the Habs have reached an agreement with Charles Hudon on a one-year, $800,000 contract. The deal is a small increase on his $700,000 qualifying offer (the league minimum salary).
There was some optimism regarding Hudon heading into last season. He was coming off a 30-point rookie campaign and it looked as if he could be a capable producer from the bottom six. That didn’t happen in 2018-19, however. He spent a lot of time on the fourth line before falling out of the lineup altogether after the trade deadline. Overall, he had just three goals and two assists in 32 games last season.
Considering the Habs have re-signed their deadline depth acquisitions plus the fact that Ryan Poehling is turning pro, it’s hard to see Hudon locking down a regular role in training camp. At best, he’ll be a bubble player once again while at worst, he’ll be on waivers, something they were hesitant to do last season.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Montreal try to find a new home for him before next season. It would give him a much-needed change of scenery while GM Marc Bergevin would be able to get some sort of small asset in return.
Hudon was one of three Canadiens to file for arbitration this summer (the others being Joel Armia and Artturi Lehkonen). As those three cases have now been settled, a second buyout window will open up for the team early next week for anyone making more than $3.45 million. However, as they project to be well under the salary cap next season, it’s unlikely that they’ll take advantage of this window. (Worth noting, Montreal can’t acquire and then buy out a player, the player had to be on the Reserve List as of the trade deadline.)
With the signing, Michael McCarron remains the lone restricted free agent that Montreal needs to re-sign. His qualifying offer expired back on Monday but the two sides can still continue to work towards a new contract.