With the Habs needing centre depth, they’ve turned to the AHL, announcing on Sunday that they’ve signed Brandon Gignac to a two-year, two-way contract. In addition, Lucas Condotta was also recalled from Laval.
The 26-year-old is in his third season with the Rocket and has gotten better each year. After starting off as a depth player in 2021-22, he has worked his way up the lineup since then and has spent a lot of time this season anchoring one of the top two lines. Gignac has responded quite well to the extra workload, leading the team in scoring with 14 goals and 28 assists in 43 games.
Gignac has one career NHL appearance under his belt back in his time with New Jersey back in 2018-19. He was originally a third-round pick of the Devils back in 2016 but was non-tendered after four years in their system, paving the way for him to sign a minor-league deal with Laval.
The two-year structure isn’t overly surprising. It allows Montreal to get a good look at Gignac over the final couple of months to assess if he’s a viable fit longer term on their fourth line. Meanwhile, with how he performed with the Rocket this year, he was pretty much a lock to land an NHL contract from someone.
TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reports that the deal breaks down as follows:
2023-24: $775,000 NHL salary, $150,000 AHL salary
2024-25: $775,000 NHL salary, $350,000 AHL salary, $400,000 guaranteed money
As for Condotta, this will be his second stint of the season with the Habs after getting into two games before the All-Star break where he was held off the scoresheet. The 26-year-old has five goals and eight assists in 40 games with Laval so far this season.