On Sunday afternoon, a day before NHL rosters have to be reduced to 23 players for the start of the season, the Montreal Canadiens placed forward Joel Armia and defenceman Gustav Lindström on waivers.
Joel Armia was originally acquired from the Winnipeg Jets ahead of the 2018-19 season and posted 13 and 16 goals in his first two seasons, but struggled to reach a similar level of performance in the years since. He had a very difficult 2022-23 season and didn’t look significantly better in the pre-season, and keeping him on the team over other options couldn’t be justified.
Gustav Lindström enjoyed steady time in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings, becoming a full-time NHLer two seasons ago with the team. However, following his trade to Montreal in the latest Jeff Petry trade, he ended up in a much deeper defence pool, and finds himself on the verge of returning to the AHL once more.
It’s possible that there will be interest in both of these players from other teams. Both have history as NHL players, and Armia’s promise of a net-front option for a team could entice a club looking to add that element. We will find out tomorrow at 2:00 PM Eastern if these players clear waivers and can be assigned to the AHL.
With those two players removed from the list, the number of players left on the roster is down to 28, a number that includes injured players Carey Price, Christian Dvorak, and Chris Wideman. If those three players make their way to Injured Reserve, the Canadiens have two more players to move before Monday’s deadline of 5:00 PM Eastern.