The Thomas Vanek era in Montreal was a quick one — not to mention somewhat ineffective.
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told reporters Thursday that the team will not re-sign Vanek, who was acquired at the NHL trade deadline from the New York Islanders. Bergevin also said the Canadiens won’t offer contracts to defenseman Douglas Murray or forward George Parros, who like Vanek will be unrestricted free agents.
The Canadiens beat the trade deadline buzzer when they poached Vanek off the island in exchange for a prospect and a conditional second-round draft pick. Vanek appeared in 18 regular-season games with the Habs after the deadline and scored six goals to go along with nine assists. Vanek struggled at times in the playoffs, however, despite posting 5-5-10 totals in 17 games. Just five of those points were even-strength points, and he totaled just two assists in the Canadiens’ six-game loss to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals.
The decision to part with Murray and Parros isn’t much of a surprise. Murray is a physical albeit slow-footed defenseman who was exposed some in just three playoff games. Montreal lost two of those contests, all of which came against the Boston Bruins. Parros appeared in just 22 regular-season games with Montreal and racked up almost as many penalty minutes (85) as he did on-ice minutes (100). He spent the Habs’ playoffs run in the press box.