Regular waivers opened up on Thursday and the Habs wasted little time putting a pair of veterans on the wire as defencemen Xavier Ouellet and Louie Belpedio on waivers.
Ouellet is entering his fourth season with the organization and has split time between Montreal and Laval in each of them, passing through waivers every time. He had four points in 19 games with the Rocket last season while being held off the scoresheet in six games with the Habs.
As for Belpedio, he was signed on the opening day of free agency to a two-way deal after spending parts of four seasons in Minnesota’s system. He’s expected to effectively take the place of Cale Fleury on the right side of Laval’s back end with Fleury now in Seattle. The 25-year-old had eight points in 23 games with AHL Iowa last season while also getting into one game with Minnesota.
Both players were expected to be on waivers at some point so it isn’t much of a surprise to see them waived on the opening day among a group of 21 players league-wide (including former Habs Will Bitten and Keith Kinkaid). Teams will have until 2 PM ET to claim them but it would be a surprise to see either one scooped up. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see them remain in camp with Montreal for a little while as when Laval’s preseason starts in October, they may prefer to give younger players a look in the exhibition season.