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Nicolas Beaudin and the Canadiens end their agreement

It’s the end of the road for defenseman Nicolas Beaudin and the Canadiens. The Montreal team announced Sunday afternoon that it was placing the Quebecer’s name on the unconditional waivers list with a view to terminating his contract.

This would be a mutual agreement between the two parties.

Arriving in Montreal via a deal that sent Cam Hillis to the Chicago Blackhawks, Beaudin was looking for an opportunity to establish himself in the NHL.

Kent Hughes had even promised him he’d get his chance, and that it was only a matter of time. After a year and a half without an NHL call-up, Beaudin probably decided it was time to look elsewhere.

On January 6, Anthony Marcotte of BPM Sports announced on Twitter that Beaudin was not satisfied with his playing time in Laval. Defensemen Logan Mailloux, Arber Xhekaj and William Trudeau were favored to play in the team’s offensive roles.

He was aiming for a chance to play in the NHL, so he almost didn’t even belong among the AHL’s best pairings. The Habs have so many hopes on defense that he quickly found himself in a jam and sensing that he probably wouldn’t get his chance anytime soon.

When Arber Xhekaj was recalled by the Canadiens, Justin Barron went to take his place with the Rocket, leaving Beaudin no chance. At 24, the defenseman will now try his luck elsewhere in the AHL, unless he decides to go and play in Europe to become an important player in a team.

In fact, he recently rubbed shoulders with several players who play in Europe during his participation in the Spengler Cup in December. One of his team-mates may have convinced him to try his luck in Europe to settle in, or perhaps to relaunch his career with a view to returning to North America at a later date.

Let’s just say that if he had trouble finding his place in Laval, the situation wouldn’t have improved in the years that followed. In fact, many young defensemen will be joining the Rocket or the Canadiens after their development. We’re talking about players like Lane Hutson, Adam Engstrom and David Reinbacher.

The good news for the Habs is that the contract termination just freed up contract space to sign another player in the future. Montreal currently has 46 out of a possible 50 contracts, which will drop to 45 once Beaudin completes the unconditional waivers process.

Nicolas Beaudin has collected 31 points in 55 games over the past two seasons with the Laval Rocket. He should be able to find a position elsewhere in the AHL, but he could very well decide to play in Europe.

In brief

– Courtois asks for patience with CF Montreal.

– More fear than harm.

– Jiricek wants more playing time.

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