Nathan Beaulieu has been sent down by the Montreal Canadiens to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League.
The move was made just to give Beaulieu a place to play during the Olympic break. The Canadiens do not play again until February 26th when they host the Detroit Red Wings. The Bulldogs however, continue play throughout the NHL stoppage, and Beaulieu will be able to suit up for six games to keep fresh, instead of taking a vacation.
Players are not allowed to be sent down to the AHL if they had played 16 of the last 20 games with their NHL club. Beaulieu was called up on January 17th and played the past 11 games with Montreal, so he was eligible to go back to Hamilton during the break.
The former first round pick in 2011 has split the season between Montreal and Hamilton, recording 14 points in 32 AHL contest and two assists in his 16 NHL games.
Beaulieu is an excellent skater and puck moving defenseman who likes to jump into the rush. Though his style has not led to many points this season with the Habs, he has played exceptionally well in a limited role in his rookie season.
Circumstance is sending Beaulieu back to Hamilton here, not his play. If fans in Hamilton want to see him play again they better get tickets for a game in the next two weeks, because Nathan is going to be a huge part of the Canadiens blue line soon, and for a long time to come.
Hamilton’s next game is this afternoon when they head to Toronto to take on their rival Marlies.