Size isn’t everything – at least not in the NHL.
The Canadiens placed 6’6” 230 lb. Alex Henry on waivers today along with goaltender Curtis Sanford. Niether is likely be claimed which means they return to the Hamilton Bulldogs for another season.
During training camp Henry appeared to be the favourite to win the battle for the final spot on the Canadien defence over Alexandre Picard despite the fact that Picard seemed to be having a better camp. Last week, coach Jacques Martin went out of his way to compliment Henry on his approach to the game but, with Roman Hamrlik declaring himself ready to start the season Thursday in Toronto, the numbers game caught up to him.
That leaves Yannick Weber and Picard to fight it out for the role of seventh defenseman.
Henry’s problem has always been lack of speed. In his ten year professional career he’s played 177 NHL games, none in the playoffs and 134 of those games were with the Minnesota Wild in the two years surrounding the lockout.
The Canadiens re-signed Henry, who was an unrestricted free agent, to a two-way two-year contract in July. His deal calls for NHL salaries of 500-thousand and 550 thousand dollars. He’ll make 200 thousand dollars a year in Hamilton, the same money he earned last season.
Sanford was also re-signed as a UFA in July. With the signing of Alex Auld, his chances of making the Canadiens out of training camp depended on an injury. The minor league side of his two-way contract also calls for 200-thousand dollars. In the latter part of training camp Sanford was sidelined by back problems. He has since recovered.