The Montreal Canadiens have signed free agent forward Alex Belzile to a one-year/two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $250,000 at the AHL level with $300,000 guaranteed. Belzile was set to be an unrestricted free agent next week. Instead, he returns to the organization providing leadership for young prospects in Laval as well as depth for the Habs in case of injuries.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 15, 2021
Alex Belzile Signs Extension With the Montreal Canadiens
Over his two-year NHL career Belzile has played exclusively for the Canadiens. The 29-year-old has put up one assist in three career regular-season games as well as one assist in three career playoff games. He has been a minor-league journeyman who continues to work, chasing the NHL dream. Belzile has 58 goals and 88 assists for 146 points in 256 career AHL games over seven seasons. He also has 62 goals and 107 assists for 169 points in 168 career ECHL games over five seasons.
Last season he scored four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 17 games for the AHL’s Canadian Division Champion Laval Rocket. He also added 39 minutes in penalties. Belzile played two games for the Canadiens down the stretch. He was part of the team’s “Black Aces” during their long playoff run.
The 6-foot-0, 205 pounds forward has scored 30 goals and 52 assists for 82 points in 111 career games with Laval. He earned his first career AHL All-Star nod in 2018.
The Canadiens announced the move in a press release early this morning. It can be found here.
What this means
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has had a busy week. He needs to replace AHL coach Joel Bouchard, who left for Anaheim. He also signed head coach Dominic Ducharme and Assistant Coach Luke Richardson to three-year contracts. Bergevin has brought back a key leader for his AHL team and a depth option for the Habs in Belzile.
Bergevin will now focus on the upcoming expansion draft as well as finding a solution to replace captain Shea Weber who could miss significant time due to injury.