Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman David Savard celebrates a goal during Game 5 against the Montreal Canadiens, at Amalie Arena, in Tampa, Fla., on July 7.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After winning a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning, David Savard is looking to repeat the feat – this time with the Montreal Canadiens.

The 30-year-old defenceman signed with the Habs in free agency on Wednesday, inking a four-year deal with an average annual value of US$3.5-million.

“It wasn’t about the term or the money,” Savard said. “It was just trying to find the team that wanted me and Montreal showed the most interest. For me, it was an easy decision.”

Story continues below advertisement

Not only will the native of St-Hyacinthe, Que., be playing in his home province, he’ll also be working in front of the Canadiens star goalie, Carey Price.

“He’s one of the best goalies in the world for the past decade, probably the best one,” Savard said of the opportunity. “He’s just so good in the net. He’s the third defenceman out there. It’s going to be fun for me to finally play with him.”

The Habs also added a piece to their forward group on Wednesday, signing Mike Hoffman to a three-year contract that carries a cap hit of US$4.5-million per season.

Savard knows he isn’t the most offensive defenceman, having registered just six points (one goal, six assists) in the regular-season last year. He has 166 points (41 goals, 125 assists) since being selected by Columbus in the third round (94th overall) at the 2009 entry draft.

Still, the 6-foot-2, 233-pound d-man will be a welcome presence for a Montreal team that will need to adapt to playing without its captain next season.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said last week that he was looking to fill big minutes in the lineup with veteran defenceman Shea Weber out for at least the next season with a series of serious injuries.

Savard doesn’t see himself replacing Weber, though.

Story continues below advertisement

“I think my role is just to come in and play hard. Whatever they ask me to do,” he said. “I’m not trying to be Shea Weber. I’m just going to be myself and play hard and I think if I do that, I’m going to help the team get some wins and get to the playoffs.”

The 31-year-old Hoffman, from Kitchener, Ont., had 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) with the St. Louis Blues last season.

But the Canadiens lost a key piece of their lineup, too, with free-agent centre Phillip Danault signing a six-year deal with the L.A. Kings.

Danault’s deal has an annual average value of US$5.5-million.

The 28-year-old from Victoriaville, Que., had five goals and 19 assists for the Habs in the regular season last year and added another four (one goal, three assists) in the playoffs.

Bergevin said Wednesday that the Habs made Danault an offer last fall but he opted to test the market instead.

Story continues below advertisement

“I respect players’ decisions,” the GM said. “He made a decision. We want to thank him for what he did for the Montreal Canadiens and wish him all the best in Los Angeles.”

The Canadiens also made several depth signings on Wednesday, including forward Cedric Paquette.

The 27-year-old centre from Gaspe, Que., inked a one-year, US$950,000 contract. He spent last season with the Carolina Hurricanes, tallying seven points (three goals, four assists) in 38 regular-season games.

Montreal also brought in defenceman Chris Wideman on a one-year, US$750,000 deal, added defenceman Louie Belpedio on a one-year, two-way contract, and signed forward Jean-Sebastian Dea to a one-year, two-way contract.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies