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Report: Weise draws interest from 10 teams, including Canadiens

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Dale Weise is drawing plenty of free agent interest, including from his former team, the Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs rank among 10 teams who are inquiring about Weise’s services, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

If a reunion happens with Montreal, it would have to come at the “right price,” ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports. Apparently the two sides batted around possible contract scenarios before the Canadiens sent Weise and Tomas Fleischmann to the Chicago Blackhawks around the 2016 trade deadline.

Weise knew a move was likely while noting his “love” for Montreal before the trade.

Plenty of Canadiens fans loved him back, in no small part thanks to his recurring role as an unlikely hero. Weise even saw spot first-line duty during the peak of his time with the Habs.

His reps would be wise to emphasize his best moments in Montreal rather than his quiet run as a Blackhawks rental.

56 games in 2015-16 with Montreal: 14 goals, 26 points
15 games in 2015-16 with Chicago: one assist (plus a goal in four postseason contests)

Those flashes of brilliance and his character serve as selling points.

Still, the bigger picture presents a buyer beware, at least for anyone tempted to go the extra mile for Weise. The Canadiens seem to know that, too.

Shaw laments leaving ‘second home’ in Chicago, but excited for Montreal

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MONTREAL (AP) A day after adding forward Andrew Shaw in a draft-day deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, the next step for the Montreal Canadiens is getting the pending restricted free agent signed to a deal.

Shaw had a quick chat with Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on Friday night. He added they’ll likely talk again over the weekend.

“I signed my first deal with him, my entry level, so I’m excited that we have that relationship already,” Shaw said Saturday on a conference call.

“I know my agent Pat (Brisson) and him are friends as well. So hopefully it helps things go smoothly. I’m sure it will.

“I’m just excited and waiting patiently, no rush obviously – they have the draft and everything this weekend and free agency coming up – so I’ll just sit back and wait for that phone call.”

Bergevin, a former assistant GM in Chicago, said Friday that Shaw is a “character guy” who knows what it takes to win. Shaw was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2011 and won two Stanley Cups over five seasons in the Windy City.

“I’ve got a fresh start with a new team,” Shaw said. “I’m excited about that. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited to meet the guys on the team and get in that locker room. But at the other end, obviously I’m going to miss all my friends and teammates in the organization and all the fans there in Chicago as well. Obviously I’ll miss the city as well too.”

Shaw had 14 goals and 20 assists in 78 regular-season games last season in the final year of his $4 million, two-year contract. He added six points in six playoff games.

“I think we were pretty close to making a deal, but obviously they have cap issues,” Shaw said of the Blackhawks.

“It’s tough to get around, especially this time of year with the draft coming, free agency coming. It was tough, I thought we were close (to a deal). I loved being in Chicago obviously, it’s a second home to me. A lot of great memories there.

“I had some fun playing there. I had a lot of friends and family in that city. So I’m going to miss it dearly, that’s for sure.”

The Canadiens gave up a pair of second-round draft picks to acquire Shaw.

“When it’s all said and done, I’m happy,” Shaw said. “I’m excited. I want to be a part of this. I’m three hours from home, which is pretty big for me and my family. So it should be a fun year.”

Montreal also traded forward Lars Eller to the Washington Capitals on Friday for second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018.

Report: Canadiens are ‘among the most interested’ in Ducks’ Fowler

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After being the worst team in the second half of the season, it’s no secret that the Montreal Canadiens are looking to shake up their roster. There’s been a ton of rumors surrounding the potential exit of P.K. Subban, but there’s also been some chatter about who they might be looking to add.

According to TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger, the Habs are one of the teams pushing hard to acquire Cam Fowler from the Anaheim Ducks. Fowler has two years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $4 million. The 24-year-old had five goals, 28 points and a minus-8 rating in 69 games during the 2015-16 season.

Fowler has never been able to replicate the numbers he put up in his rookie season (10 goals, 40 points in 76 games), but he remains a talented puck-moving defenseman.

So, why would the Ducks part ways with him?

Anaheim has already invested $4.875 million per year in Sami Vatanen this off-season and you’d have to think that an even bigger contract is coming for RFA Hampus Lindholm. After his contract expires, Fowler will also command a raise. That’s a lot of money to tie into your defense.

Secondly, with the league now confirming Las Vegas’ arrival in 2017-18, the existing teams are already setting up their expansion draft scenarios. To keep the maximum amount of players, the Ducks would only be able to protect three defensemen. Lindholm and Vatanen will likely be willingly protected by the Ducks, but Kevin Bieksa is a must-protect because he has a no-movement clause (unless he agrees to waive it).

The Canadiens being interested in Fowler makes sense. As of right now, they have four left-handed defensemen under contract for next season. But with Andrei Markov in the final year of his contract, the Canadiens could see Fowler as his long-term replacement.

As for the Subban chatter, Bob McKenzie weighed-in on TSN 690 radio in Montreal this morning:

Canadiens re-sign Mark Barberio to a two-year deal

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The Montreal Canadiens re-signed defenseman Mark Barberio to a two-year, one-way contract on Monday. The deal reportedly comes with a cap hit of $750,000, per TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie.

Barberio, who’s from Montreal, signed with the Habs as an unrestricted free agent last off-season after spending parts of three seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The 26-year-old had two goals and 10 points in 30 games in 2015-16. Those numbers don’t really stand out, but he played well after being recalled from the AHL. Unfortunately for Barberio, a concussion forced him to miss the final 11 games of the regular season.

The Canadiens now have seven defensemen on one-way contracts for the 2016-17 season. They include: Barberio, P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Jeff Petry, Alexei Emelin, Nathan Beaulieu and Greg Pateryn. Barberio will be in the running for a spot on the bottom pairing and second power play unit.

Canadiens sign Sven Andrighetto for one year

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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they signed forward Sven Andrighetto to a one-year contract on Saturday.

Without knowing key details like the price of the contract, the immediate impression is that the Habs are wise to bring back the 23-year-old.

While his numbers weren’t spectacular at the NHL level in 2015-16 (17 points in 44 games), he generated almost a point-per-game in the AHL. Some believe that he could flourish if he’s given more opportunities.

Of course, it’s up to Michel Therrien to hand him more minutes.

The Canadiens don’t face a ton of free agent hurdles this summer, as most of their core players are signed through 2016-17 (if not longer).

That said, GM Marc Bergevin likely wants to add a little of everything to that core group, yet giving guys like Andrighetto more reps may be a more cost-effective way of improving.