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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Could Nab Centre Reinforcements On NHL Waivers

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Montreal Canadiens waiver claim potentia;l

The Montreal Canadiens have an opportunity to solve one of their most pressing roster issues, and they may be able to do so without spending any assets.

As it stands, the Habs only have three centres playing in their lineup: Jake Evans, Sean Monahan, and Nick Suzuki. Coincidentally, or not, they’ve also had a very hard time controlling the pace of play in recent games.

On Wednesday the Canadiens announced they were sending top forward prospect Joshua Roy back to the AHL to re-join the Laval Rocket. The move was somewhat of a surprise given that Roy enjoyed a very solid audition in the NHL. It’s more than likely that his demotion to the AHL was not a decision based on his strong results.

Simply put, the Canadiens need to add a centre to their lineup.

The Roy decision also coincided with the news that the Calgary Flames have placed centre Adam Ruzicka on waivers.

Hughes Target

Ruzicka, 24, is the exact type of player general manager Kent Hughes tends to target. He stands at 6’4″ and 215 lb.

He’s had a slow year from a production standpoint, with just three goals and six assists in 39 games, but Ruzicka enjoyed a very solid 2022-23 campaign, with six goals and 14 assists in 44 games.

He also carries a very reasonable salary cap hit. Ruzicka is in the last year of a two-year extension which pays him a paltry $762,500 per season. If the Montreal Canadiens were to claim him on waivers and offer him a contract extension it would likely come with yet another reasonable cap hit.

In addition to having some untapped potential, Ruzicka knows Canadiens forward Juraj Slafkovsky well, as both players hail from Slovakia. This isn’t something that most general managers will pay much attention to, but it’s always good to add a little familiarity to the mix, especially when discussing the development of the youngest player on the team.

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Louis kirschner

Habs should pick up slovak Adam on waivers at little cost but offer him a try out at cwntre

Tyrone

You sold me on taking a shot with the guy. 🤞

Tyrone

Well, Ruzicka got claimed off waivers… by Arizona, which is disappointing because they are higher in the standings than we are, meaning that we passed on the opportunity to nab him. Bummer.

Owen

Flames fans say he’s better on the wing