As the Montreal Canadiens try and shake off this playoff disappointment, they already have an idea of what they need to do with their roster in order to maintain the success that they found in 2013, and become even more competitive. One of those aspects that needs improving is their size and physicality.
The physicality is something that was addressed last summer. The Habs went out and signed a couple of guys known for their grinding and known for adding that physical presence in the lineup, signing Brandon Prust to a multi-year deal, as well as a one-year contract for Colby Armstrong after he was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s difficult to call Armstrong’s first season in Montreal a success. He appeared in 37 games, but wasn’t able to get to the 30 or 40-point level that the Habs were likely hoping for when they signed him. Of course, he was limited by various injuries throughout the year. Could he be worth a shot on another one or two-year deal?
Perhaps. He had just five points, but he also averaged only 11 minutes per game. He proved useful as a penalty killer, logging 1:47 of ice time per game while a man down. He has size and will throw the body around if he has to, and will block a few shots from the forward position as well.
He could be worth bringing back as a bottom six forward. He only made $1 million last year, and it’s unlikely he’ll be looking for much of a raise off of that. Of course he could try and hit the market and hope a team will gamble on him with a half a million more. But that’s unlikely.
This could go either way. The Habs could see that there’s little value in there, and just cut him loose to save a few bucks and replace him with a younger guy, or they could hope that he can return to form after a season in Montreal and make an impact on a short term contract.