Was there really any doubt in anyone’s mind that Jordan Weal would sign a contract extension with the Montreal Canadiens? An obvious favourite of head coach Claude Julien, Weal managed four goals, six assists good for 10 points in only 16 games for the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge since being acquired from the Arizona Coyotes for Michael Chaput. At that time, Weal had 11 points in 47 games with the desert dogs.
The 27 year-old centre is not the first Coyote to leave the Coyotes and find a home in Montreal as we all know Max Domi‘s story since leaving that organization. And like Domi, Weal seized his opportunity with the Canadiens. With a 55.1% success rate, he provides Julien’s team with a much needed right-handed centre who can alleviate the workload of Phillip Danault in the defensive zone, while being a surprisingly good fit on offense too.
The North Vancouver, BC native was rewarded with a two-year one-way deal with the Canadiens with a cap hit of $1.4 million. The news comes just one day after the team announced the signing of another trade deadline acquisition and pending UFA, Nate Thompson, to a one-year one-way contract worth an even $1 million.
“I was really just chomping at the bit to come back. It’s one of those groups where it’s not hard to jump in and to have fun with the guys right away. The core group that they have – the older guys, the younger guys – it’s just one of those special groups that you just want to be a part of.
I’m just so excited to come back because of where our team is headed,” said Thompson. “Everyone on the team, and you could feel it throughout the room, that guys were disappointed. More importantly, though, guys are mad, guys are angry, guys already want to get going and already start the season now because you could feel the hunger from everyone, including myself. We want to get back to work, we want to have a big season, and we want to build off of what we did last year. We want to continue to get better and make the playoffs.”
Marc Bergevin will have his work cut out this summer as he MUST finally fill the hole on left side of his defense on the Top-4. The right side is solid with Shea Weber, Jeff Petry, Christian Folin, Noah Juulsen and Josh Brook but the left side has been the team’s weak point since the departure of Andrei Markov. It will be an interesting summer, folks! Go Habs Go!