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Cédric Paquette placed on waivers by the Montreal Canadiens

The Habs needed a roster slot with Joel Edmundson coming off Injured Reserve.

NHL: DEC 09 Blackhawks at Canadiens Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UPDATE: Paquette has cleared waivers and can now be assigned to the Laval Rocket.

On Saturday afternoon, the Montreal Canadiens placed centreman Cédric Paquette on waivers.

The move will clear one of the 23 roster spots the Canadiens have to work with between now and the trade deadline (the limit gets lifted at 12:01 AM on March 21). They needed the spot today to allow for Joel Edmundson’ return to action, as the defenceman will play his first game of the season tonight versus the Seattle Kraken.

Paquette was a free-agent signee in the off-season, inking a one-year deal with the team that pays him $950,000. He made the opening-night roster, but began to shift in and out of the formation in early November with discipline issues and zero points. He hadn’t played since January 29, and finished with a total of two points in 24 games.

Should he clear, he would be assigned to the AHL’s Laval Rocket, which would be a boost for a minor-league team missing several of its forwards. His contract would be fully buried and not count toward Montreal’s salary cap for the remainder of the season, freeing them up to take on salary in a trade.

The Canadiens have also placed Kale Clague on Injured Reserve today, which will leave the team at just six healthy defencemen, creating an emergency recall situation on the blue line. That move also gets the team back to 22 of 23 roster spots to allow another currently injured player — or trade acquisition — to enter the lineup in the near future.