The Montreal Canadiens were one of the busiest teams as the NHL free agency period opened Tuesday, with GM Marc Bergevin adding depth and clearing cap space for the future. By 4 p.m., the team brought in PA Parenteau, Tom Gilbert and Manny Malholtra, lost Daniel Briere, Brian Gionta, Thomas Vanek and Josh Gorges, and kept Mike Weaver. All these changes are designed to clear the way for PK Subban and his expected $8 million plus contract, but also show Bergevin doesn’t mind tinkering with his team that went to the third round of the playoffs.
The Canadiens got things rolling on Monday with a trade with the Colorado Avalanche, sending Briere to Colorado for Parenteau and a fifth round pick. Their cap hits are identical ($4 million) but Parenteau has an extra year on his deal. However, Parenteau is younger and has more offensive upside than Briere does. At 31-years-old, the right-winger will be able to slot into the top six forwards and score some goals.
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