The Montreal Canadiens placed David Savard on Injury Reserve, leaving them open to make a roster move, or two, before their road trip.
David Savard has been out of the Canadiens’ lineup since the December 5th game with the Vancouver Canucks.
The 32-year-old is dealing with an upper-body injury that will keep him out for 2-3 weeks, according to a Canadiens press release last week.
However, despite being out of the lineup for almost two weeks, the Canadiens held back on putting Savard on LTIR; knowing full well he wasn’t coming back to the lineup before the end of 2022.
The timing of such a move is interesting, as it opens up a roster spot. The Canadiens have constantly had to juggle their roster to stay under the 23-man roster limit, and by placing Savard on IR, they’ve freed up a spot.
Timing is Key
The Canadiens placing Savard on IR on Saturday, the last game at home before a seven-game road trip, is not something to keep in passing.
Don’t expect a trade, as the NHL Trade Freeze is now in effect, but there is certainly a possibility for a call-up from the Laval Rocket incoming.
The reason the Canadiens likely haven’t made such a move as of yet, is due to the Laval Rocket playing in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. It will be interesting to see what the Canadiens decide to do once the Rocket’s game against the Monsters ends, roughly around 5 p.m. ET, just in time for the cut-off for call-ups for the day.
It would make a ton of sense to see the Canadiens call up a forward here, as they currently have 13 healthy forwards and seven healthy defencemen. The extra forward would make more sense than needlessly scratching one of their youngsters in favour of a player from Laval.
Although Justin Barron has done exceedingly well in his time in Laval recently, with a 3-point game on Saturday upon his return to the lineup, he still needs to simmer in Laval and continue his great progress.
The Montreal Canadiens had two options for a recall in Anthony Richard or Jesse Ylönen, as both forwards continue to lead the Rocket offensively.
Richard leads the AHL in goal-scoring with 18 goals, and is 2nd in points with 31. Meanwhile, Ylönen is the speedy, talented forward that could help breathe some life into the Canadiens’ lifeless power play; and could especially help on transition and zone entries.
Richard finally earned a call-up today, after weeks of torching the AHL.
Another Player To Watch
The Canadiens made a decision on Rem Pitlick soon, as he was fast approaching his 10-game waivers limit.
Having previously been placed on waivers on November 8, Pitlick has played in seven games with the Canadiens since, most of which was done on an Emergency Recall basis. This means that only the 10-game, not the 30-day rule, applied to Pitlick.
If Pitlick were to play three more games this season, the Kent Hughes, who was afraid of losing Pitlick to waivers in November, would have had to re-submit the speedy forward to waivers yet again, once forwards Sean Monahan and Brendan Gallagher return.
By sending down Pitlick today, and Monahan/Gallagher not set to return before 2023, also provides the Canadiens with an extra roster spot to call up Ylönen for a well-deserved cup of coffee.