The Habs were fairly busy in advance of Monday’s matinee affair against Arizona. They placed Alex Belzile on waivers, sent some players to the minors, and announced several injury updates.
Belzile cleared waivers earlier this season but since he has played in 11 NHL games since then (going pointless while averaging a little over 10 minutes a game), he needs to clear again to go back down. His placement means that he has also cleared COVID protocol. Teams have until 2 PM ET Tuesday to claim him.
Meanwhile, the team announced that Rafael Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylonen were both sent to Laval. (Gianni Fairbrother was also in the announcement but was officially sent down last week in a paper transaction.) The moves resulted in some corresponding moves from the Rocket as well as they returned Shawn St-Amant and Cedric Desruisseaux to Trois-Rivieres of the ECHL while they also released Ryan Valentini and Olivier Galipeau from their PTO contracts.
On the injury front, Tyler Toffoli and Paul Byron are both likely to return at some point on this road trip which will result in more roster moves as the Habs only have one roster spot available following Josh Anderson’s activation. (Kale Clague has also rejoined the team but officially remains in COVID protocol so he’ll need a roster spot to be activated into as well.) Cole Caufield is the only waiver-exempt skater on the roster.
Meanwhile, Brendan Gallagher is one to two weeks away from returning while Mathieu Perreault’s lower-body injury has him out indefinitely.
Joel Edmundson recently returned to Montreal following some time away due to the death of his father. He hasn’t skated and there remains no timetable for his return (but he’ll be out for a while yet).
Lastly, Carey Price will soon be resuming on-ice workouts after meeting with his specialist and team doctors. However, with how long he has been off the ice now, he will be starting from scratch in his rehab for his knee issue so he is still a long way away from returning as well.