The Habs are continuing to add depth in advance of next week’s training camp as the team announced on Monday that they’ve signed winger Corey Perry to a one-year deal worth $750,000.
The 35-year-old spent last season with Dallas after being bought out by Anaheim last offseason. His offensive numbers improved slightly from his last year with the Ducks but he still managed just five goals and 16 assists last season in 57 games while logging a little under 14 minutes a night.
While he didn’t do much during the regular season, he was an important secondary contributor during the postseason where he had five goals and four assists in 27 contests, finishing tied for ninth in team scoring. The pace of play slowed down as the playoffs series went on and for someone that’s not the best of skaters but can play with a bit of a physical edge and get to the dirty areas, that worked in his favour.
It’s that playoff performance that likely helped influence Montreal’s decision to sign Perry. For a team that plays up-tempo like the Canadiens do, he’s a curious fit in the lineup, even if it’s in a limited fourth line role. But in the playoffs (assuming they can get there), he’s someone that could prove to be useful. Considering the frequency that the Habs will be playing their North Division opponents this coming season, having someone to mix in and out of the lineup to give them a bit more grit won’t hurt either.
At this price tag, there’s little risk although it’s worth noting that it pushes Montreal to 48 contracts out of the limit of 50 which is about as tight as they should want to go early on in the year. Perry is likely to battle Michael Frolik for the 13th forward spot on the roster with the loser of that battle likely being waived and moved to the taxi squad.
Montreal has certainly changed the composition of their group of right wingers. After having Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia with lefties being shifted to their off-side or depth players like Jordan Weal, Ilya Kovalchuk (for six weeks), Dale Weise and Alex Belzile in the lineup, they’ve now added four players that can play that position in Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli, Frolik (a natural lefty that plays a lot on the opposite wing), and now Perry. What once was a position of weakness is all of a sudden one of a fair bit of depth for the Canadiens and that depth will likely come in handy in what will be a compressed season.