The Habs locked up one of their four impending NHL UFA’s on Thursday, inking
Davis Drewiske to a two year contract. As always, financial terms weren’t officially
disclosed but early reports suggest it is for comparable money to last year. Drewiske was acquired by the Canadiens from Los Angeles the day
before the trade deadline this past season for added depth and became a regular
for a little while when Alexei Emelin tore his ACL.
In total, Drewiske got into nine regular season games with Montreal in
2012-13, picking up a goal and two helpers while averaging 16:49 in ice time per
game. He also suited up for 20 games with the Kings where he had a goal
and three assists to go along with a +3 rating and 14 PIMS. The 6’2
rearguard didn’t dress for any of the five playoff games as rookie Jarred
Tinordi took away his spot late in the season. He has played in 135 NHL
games in his career.
Montreal’s blueline is potentially facing some changes for the upcoming
season which may have opened a spot for Drewiske to stick around in a depth
role. Emelin will miss the first 6-8 weeks of the year while he recovers
from surgery, Tomas Kaberle is a likely compliance buyout, and Yannick Weber
appears unlikely to return although the Habs will likely still give him a
qualifying offer to retain his rights as a restricted free agent.
Even Marc Bergevin sees him as an insurance policy and not as a regular in
the lineup. Here is what he had to say about the move:
“We are happy to have come to an agreement with Davis on a two-year
contract. He brings experience and most importantly depth to our group of
Drewiske is coming off of a three year deal that saw him earn $650,000 last
year. Early reports have him taking a pay cut to $625,000 in 2013-14 and
$650,000 in 2014-15 which would be a cap hit of $637,500. The Habs now have, for the time being, nine defencemen under
contract for next year (including Tinordi) and have 38 contracts inked out of
the max of 50 (although that includes three players who will likely play in
junior and have their contract slide).