The Montreal Canadiens signed Mathieu Perreault, an unrestricted free agent forward, to a one-year contract worth $950,000. Perreault spent last season with the Winnipeg Jets. Renaud Lavoie was first with the news. A versatile veteran, Perreault can play at all three forward spots.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) July 29, 2021
Montreal Canadiens Sign UFA Mathieu Perreault
Over his 12-year NHL career, Perreault suited up for the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets. Originally drafted in the sixth round, 177th overall of the 2006 NHL draft by Columbus, the 33-year old holds 139 goals and 204 assists in 683 career games. Of those 343 points, 87 came on the powerplay. He averaged 11:43 in ice time per game last season and averages 13:45 per game across his career. He also scored nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 56 games last season with the Jets.
Perreault’s Corsi-for percentage over the season ranked at 55.6 percent and+8.3 percent relative, numbers that perfectly reflect his two-way style of play. He added 18 blocked shots and 84 hits to his career totals in 2020-21 too. He also posted 16 penalty minutes, further illustrating his ability to play hard defensively, throw hits, and still stay out of the box.
What This Means for the Future
Perreault is a team-first kind of player, willing to do whatever it takes to help his team succeed. Getting Mathieu Perreault signed adds grit, determination, physicality, and leadership to his team’s roster. He can play up or down in the lineup, as his five seasons with 15+ goals demonstrate. He didn’t take many faceoffs in Winnipeg, yet still has a career faceoff percentage north of 50 percent (50.5). So, not only can he play up and down the lineup, but is comfortable dressing as a winger or centre and contributes in either position.
Ultimately, though, Perreault isn’t deployed to score usually, but to shut down opponents and establish the physical game. His workman-like approach helps lead by example, as his 825 career hits can attest. That’s as much as teams can want from a third or fourth-line centreman. Perreault provides that with flying colours and has been doing so consistently his entire career.
VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 19: Mathieu Perreault #85 of the Winnipeg Jets skates with the puck during NHL hockey action against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on February 19, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)