The Habs have added some more depth up front as they agreed to terms with Mathieu Perreault on a one-year, $950,000 contract.
The 31-year-old had spent the past seven seasons with Winnipeg in a variety of roles, shifting between all three forward positions while spending time on the second, third, and fourth lines. Over the last couple of years, however, he had been used in a more limited role, almost predominantly on the wing in the bottom six. Last season, he played in 56 games for the Jets, collecting nine goals and ten assists but averaged 11:43 per game, his lowest ATOI since he was first entering the league.
Accordingly, expectations will need to be kept in check. Perreault is not the 40-point player he was a few years ago when he had four straight seasons with at least that many points. He probably isn’t even a viable option at centre for any extended period of time and considering the same can be said for Cedric Paquette, adding a veteran centre should still be on Marc Bergevin’s wish list.
Having said that, Perreault’s versatility can still make him a useful depth piece for the Habs who likely turned to him after Corey Perry signed with Tampa Bay earlier in the day. If the winger logjam is cleared out, he can play on the fourth line and hold his own in a bigger offensive role whenever injuries arise. If the current roster remains intact, he’s a useful 13th or 14th forward. It’s a minimal risk move for Bergevin but still carries a bit of upside for the Canadiens.