BROSSARD, Que. – The Montreal Canadiens were quiet on the trade front on Wednesday, but managed to sign forward prospect Danny Kristo to a two-year contract.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was believed to be on the lookout for a veteran forward with some grit to add depth to his lineup heading into the playoffs. But no deals were announced at the NHL trade deadline.
On Tuesday, Bergevin acquired defenceman Davis Drewiske from the Los Angeles Kings for a fifth-round draft pick. Drewiske was slated to start on the third pairing in a game Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
“He’s a stay at home defenceman,” Bergevin said. “He’s got a good stick and he can kill penalties.
“We’ve been watching him a lot. I believe that when (Robyn) Regehr went to L.A. (from Buffalo), he became expendable.”
Bergevin declined to talk about any trade talks that went nowhere, but said he is confident with the team he has.
He made his best move more than a month ago in sending Erik Cole to Dallas for winger Michael Ryder, who has averaged nearly a point per game since his return to Montreal.
He added that if defenceman Raphael Diaz and forward Rene Bourque are able to return from concussions, it would almost be like adding a player. Both have been out since mid-February.
Diaz skated on his own in full equipment for the first time since his injury on Wednesday, while Bourque has been skating hard for a few days. There is no word on when they’ll be back.
The 22-year-old Kristo, who had 25 goals and 52 points in 40 games at North Dakota University this season, will report to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. He finished the NCAA season tied for second in scoring.
“He had a very good season,” said Bergevin. “There are things he needs to work on but he has talent. We’ll help him develop and see how it goes.”
The Edina, Minn. native was named as a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the best player in U.S. university hockey, but did not make it to the top three.
Montreal selected the five-foot-11 forward in the second round of the 2008 draft.
The Canadiens also announced that fourth-line winger Colby Armstrong will likely be out for the rest of the regular season with a knee injury suffered in a 4-1 victory Monday night against Carolina. Coach Michel Therrien hopes to have him back for the playoffs.