Montreal Canadiens: Ben Chiarot Out 6-8 Weeks

Mar 10, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Ben Chiarot Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 10, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Montreal Canadiens Ben Chiarot Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports /
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Montreal Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot has missed the Habs last two games with injury and it was announced today that he is going to miss many more.

The team’s most used left defenceman is going to be out of the lineup for the next 6-8 weeks with a fractured hand. He suffered the injury in a fight with the Vancouver Canucks winger JT Miller last week.

Chiarot is in the second year of a three year contract that pays him $3.5 million per year. He is averaging 21:22 in ice time per game for the Canadiens this season, behind only Shea Weber and Jeff Petry on the Habs roster.

The 6-8 week timeline puts the return of Chiarot at the very end of the regular season. Eight weeks from today is April 10th, which is two days after the Canadiens last regular season game which takes place on April 8th against the Toronto Maple Leafs. That means Chiarot will be back in time for the playoffs (if the Habs qualify) but he won’t be back for much of the regular season.

While it stings to lose one of the team’s most used players for such a long time, the Canadiens will at least have a little cap flexibility moving forward. They have been sending young players like Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Nick Suzuki and Alexander Romanov to the taxi squad on off days all season just to save a days pay when they can.

After adding so many new players in the offseason, the Habs were slightly over the cap to begin the season and needed Corey Perry to pass through waivers to become cap compliant.

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While it is not great to lose players to injury, this does give the Canadiens added space to acquire a player that can help them down the stretch. With a left defender like Chiarot out long term, perhaps the Mattias Ekholm to Montreal rumours will hit a fever pitch in the next few days.