Canadiens ink Cédric Paquette to 1-year contract

The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Cédric Paquette to a 1-year contract with an average annual value of $950,000, the team announced on the opening of NHL free agency this past Wednesday.

Paquette, a native of Gaspé, QC, returns to his home province after skating in 47 games in 2020-21 with the Carolina Hurricanes and the Ottawa Senators, notching four goals and four assists while playing tough defensive minutes for both teams. Across his 8 seasons in the NHL for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes, the veteran Paquette has amassed 51 goals and 42 assists, good for 93 points, over 424 regular season games.

“I feel good, I feel excited. I can’t wait for it to start, I can’t wait to get out there and meet the guys, see the arena, the room,” said Paquette. “Being [from Gaspé], playing for the Canadiens will be an unforgettable experience, I’m so happy to have the chance to do that.”

In the 2019-20 playoffs, Paquette was a key member of the Lightning, dressing for all 25 of Tampa’s playoff games and winning 53% of his faceoffs as he and the team were crowned Stanley Cup Champions.