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Canadiens trade Prust for Kassian, extend Pateryn on first day of free agency

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MONTREAL - With Jeff Petry already signed long-term, the Montreal Canadiens made a handful of minor moves on the first day of free agency.

Montreal acquired Zack Kassian and a fifth-round pick from the Vancouver Canucks for Brandon Prust and extended the contract of defenceman Greg Pateryn for two more years at a cap hit of US$800,000.

The six-foot-three, 214-pound Kassian delivers the size the Canadiens seem to always be looking for. The 26-year-old has 66 points in 198 career games.

Pateryn, 25, is now signed through the 2017-18 season.

"Greg is a young defenceman who has developed very well," general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. "He enjoys the physical play and brings more depth to our defensive group."

The Habs added more defensive depth by signing Joel Hanley to a one-year, two-way contract.

Hanley spent last season with the AHL's Portland Pirates.

On the eve of free agency, Montreal re-signed forward Brian Flynn to a two-year, $1.9-million contract. Bergevin called Flynn a "fast, versatile and reliable player."

"Brian bought into the team's philosophy from the very first day," Bergevin said. "He brings the right attitude to the dressing room day in and day out, and has a professional approach to the game. We are proud to have him among our group of forwards."

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