Friday, October 7, 2011

Canadiens Sign D Joe Callahan to 1-Year, 2-Way Deal

Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of defenseman Joe Callahan to a one-year, two-way contract.

With Jeff Woywitka being claimed off waivers by the New York Rangers, and a subsequent injury to Chris Campoli, Callahan provides extra depth and toughness to the Habs organization's blueline.

Callahan, 28, was a third round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2002. He is a defensive defenseman who, at 6'3" and 221 lbs, adds size and physicality to Montreal's back end. He has played 46 NHL games all between 2008-09 and last season, split amongst the New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks, and Florida Panthers, while spending most of those seasons in the American Hockey League.

It isn't immediately clear whether Callahan will get a look in Montreal or start out with the Hamilton Bulldogs, but yesterday's Campoli injury may open up a spot for him. A solid depth signing to replace Woywitka in the AHL, but hopefully he isn't another roadblock ahead of Alexei Emelin. As much as the Russian blueliner hasn't been overly impressive, a fringe NHL'er like Callahan shouldn't be getting ice time over developing a high potential prospect.

The Habs now have 49 players under contract for this season with the league maximum being 50 per team. Their hands are thus somewhat tied when it comes to acquisitions, though it isn't necessarily difficult to dump contracts of American League youth.

No comments: