The Montreal Canadiens announced that they re-signed defenceman Rinat Valiev to a one-year contract for the 2018-19 season.
Valiev was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of the return for forward Tomas Plekanec, and was a pending restricted free agent.
Valiev split his time with the Montreal Canadiens and the Laval Rocket after being acquired. In seven games in Laval he had a goal and two assists, and remained scoreless in two games with the Canadiens. Before joining the Canadiens organization this season he played 40 games with the Marlies in the AHL, not seeing any NHL action.
Rumours had Valiev returning to Russia for the next season, but his agent confirmed that this was never the case and he must see a better opportunity to play in the NHL in Montreal than he would have had in Toronto.
L'agent de Valiev insiste qu'un retour en Russie n'a jamais été considéré.— Marc Antoine Godin (@MAGodin) May 31, 2018
This is the first restricted free-agent to re-sign with the team this off-season and we should expect more as we approach the draft and July 1.