The Montreal Canadiens have announced they have signed centre Nate Thompson to a one-year, one-way contract for the 2019-20 season.
The contract is for $1,000,000. Thompson was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings this season and played 25 games for the Canadiens and had a goal and six assists. He had five goals and eight assists in 78 games overall.
Thompson will be in the conversation for the fourth centre spot in Montreal next season, a role he played this season. With the emergence of Jake Evans, Lukas Vejdemo, and Ryan Poehling the Canadiens have a lot of options in place, including another upcoming free agent in Jordan Weal.
With a lot of cap and contract space, this just provides the Canadiens with an insurance policy in case the young players prove they aren’t ready for a full NHL season. At $1 million, Thompson’s cap hit is not significant, and the team can always send him to the Laval Rocket or stick him in the press box if he gets supplanted by the youngsters, or anyone else added to the organization this summer.
In all, it’s an insurance policy, and given how many times the fourth line hurt the Canadiens this season, Thompson was able to provide stability, and earned a new contract.