Montreal took care of a trio of pending free agents before free agency officially opened up on Wednesday, announcing the re-signings of Alex Belzile, Joel Teasdale, and Nate Schnarr to one-year, two-way contracts.
Belzile’s contract reportedly is worth $750,000 in the NHL, $275,000 in the AHL, and has a guarantee of $350,000. Schnarr and Teasdale are believed to have accepted a minimum salary in the NHL of $750,000 while getting a small AHL raise up to $82,500.
Belzile was set to hit the open market later today but instead has elected to stay with the Canadiens. The 30-year-old got into 11 games with the Habs early in the season but spent most of the year in Laval where he had 22 points in 32 games plus nine points in 15 playoff contests. With Montreal in a youth movement now, he might be hard-pressed to get any substantial time with the Canadiens next season barring a rash of injuries. He will count against the veteran limit with the Rocket.
Teasdale battled back from his latest knee injury to get into 44 games with the Rocket during the regular season where he was productive with 15 goals and 13 assists. However, while the style of the playoffs was more conducive to his skill-set, the 23-year-old struggled and was relegated to the fourth line for most of the postseason. Evidently, he showed enough during the regular season to warrant another look and it’s worth noting that he has another waiver-exempt year remaining after missing all of 2019-20 due to injury.
The Habs picked up Schnarr at the deadline in exchange for Andrew Hammond and immediately sent the 23-year-old to Laval. He fit in nicely down the stretch on a checking line with Teasdale and Gabriel Bourque and had 10 points in 20 games with the Rocket after being acquired while chipping in with four points in 11 playoff contests before being injured against Springfield. He’ll need to get through waivers to get back to Laval and assuming he does, Schnarr could fill the role that Lukas Vejdemo held in recent years.