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Montreal Canadiens sign D Ben Chiarot to three-year contract

Marc Bergevin makes his first significant add to the roster.

St. Louis Blues v Winnipeg Jets - Game Five

The Montreal Canadiens made their first major addition of free agency, signing defenceman Ben Chiarot to a three-year contract.

The contract comes with an annual cap hit of $3.5 million. The 28-year-old was previously with the Winnipeg Jets. He had five goals and 15 assists in 78 games with the Jets last season, his most productive NHL season, averaging over 18 minutes a game. In 305 career games, he has 12 goals and 52 assists.

Chiarot is a left-handed shot which puts him into the conversation for a spot next to Shea Weber. His most common partner last year was Dustin Byfuglien, so there may be a common thread there.

He was a fourth-round pick by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009 and has spent his entire career with the Atlanta/Winnipeg organization.

This is Marc Bergevin’s first major signing of the free agency signing, joining Keith Kinkaid among players expected to start the season in the NHL next season.

More to come.

UPDATE: The contract is signing bonus laden in year one but not years two and three, and there is a ten team no-trade-list clause active in all three years.