After a short cameo at the end of last season, Brian Flynn has re-upped in Montreal.
On Monday, the Habs announced they signed Flynn to a two-year, $1.9 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $950,000. A serviceable depth forward, Flynn was set to become a restricted free agent but avoids that route with this deal, which represents a slight pay raise from his previous contract.
The former Sabre, who had three points in six playoff games for the Habs last year, is the latest of GM Marc Bergenvin’s trade deadline pickups to stick in Montreal.
Previously, the Canadiens signed d-man Jeff Petry — acquired from Edmonton at the deadline — to a six-year, $33 million extension. Torrey Mitchell — who, like Flynn also came over from Buffalo — agreed to a new contract shortly after Petry, inking for $3.6 million over three years.
With those three now locked in and P.A. Parenteau bought out of his contract, Bergevin can focus on other tasks at hand — specifically, new deals for RFA forward Alex Galchenyuk and blueliner Jarred Tinordi.
Christian Thomas, a winger that’s spent most of his time in AHL Hamilton, also needs a new deal.
The Montreal Canadiens could get veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar and veteran forward P.A. Parenteau back in the lineup Saturday, according to multiple reports.
On Friday, the Habs sent blue liner Jarred Tinordi and forward Christian Thomas to the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL. Those transactions appear to be paving the way for Gonchar and Parenteau to get back in game action, with the Habs hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
Gonchar hasn’t played since Feb. 14, when he was slammed from behind into the boards by former Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson. Of course, Clarkson was traded to Columbus on Thursday.
Parenteau last played Jan. 15 and has been dealing with concussion issues.
The Montreal Canadiens assigned Darren Dietz and Christian Thomas to the Hamilton Bulldogs following their 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators Saturday night.
Thomas, the son of former NHLer Steve Thomas, had 11 goals and 27 points in 55 games with Hamilton last season. The 22-year-old was originally a second-round pick of the New York Rangers (40th overall in 2010). Thomas has appeared in three career NHL games with the Rangers and Canadiens where he’s been held without a point.
Dietz, 21, was originally a fifth round selection (138th overall in 2011) by the Canadiens. In 34 games with the Bulldogs last season the defenseman five assists to go along with 49 penalty minutes.
Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The New York Rangers.
The Rangers are the classic “tease” team. They offer one of the best goalies in the world, top-end offensive talent, and sound defensive work. They should be a Stanley Cup contender each year. “Should” being the operative word there.
Looking at how they’ve finished the last few years, it’s been a roller coaster. In the past four seasons they’ve missed the playoffs, been bounced out in the first and second rounds and made it to the Eastern finals two seasons ago. They’ve done everything but make the Stanley Cup Final and now they’ll look to do that with a coach who was there as recently as 2011 and knows a fair bit about the sting of unfulfilled expectations.
The Rangers are young and talented but their franchise goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, is itchy to win now.
The biggest news of the summer came when the Rangers fired John Tortorella and hired former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault to replace him. The thought here is that Torts wore out the players with his tough ways and that Vigneault will help tap into the Rangers’ offensive potential a bit more.
As for player news, the Rangers kept it rather quiet. They acquired former Canadiens prospect Danny Kristo in exchange for their own prospect Christian Thomas in a trade. Free agency was equally low-key with signings like defenseman Aaron Johnson and forwards Benoit Pouliot and Dominic Moore. Moore’s story in particular is inspiring returning to hockey after the sudden passing of his wife.
Now if they can just get restricted free agent Derek Stepan taken care of and maybe start negotiating with their three potential unrestricted free agents next summer (Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi), GM Glen Sather can take a breather.
The Rangers’ core is strong (did we forget to mention Rick Nash?) and there’s no reason to think they won’t be a Stanley Cup threat again this season.
Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series
Trades aren’t always about the big names, sometimes it’s the prospects that change places.
The New York Rangers have traded forward Christian Thomas to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Danny Kristo.
Thomas played one game with New York last season and had no points. He spent most of last season with the Connecticut Whale in the AHL and did well in his first professional season scoring 19 goals with 16 assists.
As a 5′ 9″ 170-pound forward, he won’t do much to make the jokes about small forwards in Montreal go away. Thomas was a second-round pick by New York in 2010.
Kristo, meanwhile, had a big season in his senior year at the University of North Dakota finishing tied for second in the nation in points with 52. He was also second in the country in goals scored with 26 and was a Hobey Baker Top 10 finalist. At 5’11” 185, he’s a slick, speedy winger with an obvious knack for the net.
Kristo helped Team USA’s World Junior team win gold in 2010 and was on the bronze medal-winning World Championships team this year. He was a second-round pick by Montreal in 2008.