The Montreal Canadiens wasted no time filling the hole left by the trade of center Daniel Briere one day prior by signing center Manny Malhotra to a one-year contract reportedly worth $850,000 on Tuesday.
The signing was reported by TSN minutes after the free-agent market opened at noon ET.
"I spoke with a few teams that showed some interest, a lot of teams in different stages of their growing process," Malhotra told TSN. "But based on the chat I had with [general manager] Marc Bergevin and then coach [Michel] Therrien, the role they saw me in, where they saw the future of their team going and obviously Montreal being the market it is -- you get chills as an opposing player going into that building -- it's going to be a pretty special feeling putting on the red, white and blue."
Malhotra likely will slot into the fourth-line center spot held by Briere during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and probably is a better fit for that role.
Last season with the Carolina Hurricanes, Malhotra won 59.4 percent of his faceoffs and ranked second on the team with 1:38 of shorthanded time on ice per game.
"Much like the last few years of my career, it's going to be in the faceoff circle, killing penalties, be a sound defensive player out there and try to bring some leadership into the room," Malhotra told TSN of his role. "You look at the guys and the way they play and the system they play, I really want to be a part of that and I feel I can complement what's there already."
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