Among the members of the Canadiens system that became unrestricted free agents on Friday, only three have been able to land contracts for next season. Frederic St. Denis became the third on Sunday when he inked a one-year two-way deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
On Free Agency’s first day defenseman Yannick Weber signed a one year agreement with the Vancouver Canucks for 650-thousand dollars and right wing Michael Ryder was grabbed up by the New Jersey Devils on a 2-year 3.5 million annual contract.
The Blue Jackets are hoping that the reason St. Denis stalled in the Canadiens system was the numbers game. There was simply too much front line talent ahead of him in the depth chart.
But in reality St. Denis, who was originally signed by the Canadiens as a free agent out of college hockey at Trois Rivieres, appeared to reach the ceiling of his development two years ago. Last season was his fifth in the Canadiens organization. He managed a total of 17 games all of them in callups dujring the 2011-2012 season.
Canadiens still available on the free agent market are C-Jeff Halpern, LW-Colby Armstrong, C-Petteri Nokelainen and D-Tomas Kaberle.