Jeff Gorton has made his first move since joining the Canadiens and it’s a waiver claim as Montreal announced on Saturday that they’ve claimed defenceman Kale Clague off waivers from Los Angeles.
The 23-year-old has played in 11 games with the Kings this season, recording five assists while averaging 17:50 per game and had four helpers in five contests with AHL Ontario earlier in the season after he cleared waivers. In his career, he has 11 assists in 33 games with the Kings and 70 points in 129 AHL contests.
Clague was a second-round pick of Los Angeles back in 2016 (51st overall) and if the name sounds familiar and you don’t remember seeing him much with the Kings, he took part in two World Juniors for Canada in 2017 and 2018, playing a regular role on their back end.
There is a need for defensive depth at the moment with Jeff Petry and Joel Edmundson both out plus Sami Niku being in COVID protocol. Clague’s addition could also pave the way for the Canadiens to return Mattias Norlinder back to Sweden, a move that has been speculated frequently over the last week or so.
In the short term, Laurent Dauphin has been sent back to Laval to make room on the roster for Clague. One other move will need to be made today as Mike Hoffman will be activated off IR, requiring another roster spot to be opened up. Petry could be transferred to IR if he’s going to miss at least a week or someone will need to be sent down.