The Montreal Canadiens continue to work through their restricted free agents signing defenceman Gustav Olofsson to a one-year contract extension.
It started with Alex Belzile, and now Gustav Olofsson is the next to get a contract extension. The Montreal Canadiens announced they’ve come to terms with Olofsson for a one-year deal that will see him through the end of the 2020-21 season.
The new contract is a two-way deal that will see the defenceman get a $50,000 cap-hit increase from $700,000 to $750,000. Additionally, Olofsson’s AHL salary gets a boost from $235,000 to $250,000.
Olofsson has had an interesting time as a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization. He was acquired in a deal with the Minnesota Wild ahead of the 2018-19 season in exchange for then Habs prospect Will Bitten.
His size and mobility on the backend triggered a lot of optimism in the fanbase, even though many were excited to see what Bitten could do in the AHL. Unfortunately, his tenure with the Laval Rocket didn’t last too long as he played two games – recording an assist – before being shut down with an injury.
Things looked more favourable for Olofsson ahead of this season as he was able to see 57 games and put up a goal and 15 assists in the process. He was also given the opportunity to make his debut with the Montreal Canadiens with injuries piling up at the NHL level. Olofsson played three games with the Habs before being sent back down, and with this new deal, the window to extend that opportunity to a full role is out there.
The Habs will likely let Christian Folin walk in free agency, leaving an extra spot on the blueline for next season. This is not to say Olofsson is guaranteed to play, but with a good training camp, he could very well be an option to remain with the club.
A 6’3 and 196-pound frame, if used correctly, could be an effective long-term option for the Montreal Canadiens on defence. That said, it is only a one-year deal at a low cap-hit. If things go poorly, the Habs could easily send him down to strengthen the Laval Rocket roster making this decision low-risk with a high-reward.