Canadiens Claim Colin White & Place Brandon Gignac On Waivers

Pittsburgh Penguins v Arizona Coyotes
Pittsburgh Penguins v Arizona Coyotes / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens announced on Thursday afternoon that the club made to waiver moves.

Brandon Gignac, Laval Rocket point leader at the time of his call up was placed on waivers, for reassignment to Laval. The team also announced they claimed veteran centre Colin White, who has struggled with zero points through 11 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s a bit of a surprising move, but the Rocket are pushing for a playoff spot.

Gignac played some inspiring hockey, so the move is a bit of a surprise. But it’s a low-risk move for the Habs, something that Montreal has found success pulling off in the past. Paul Byron, Rem Pitlick, and now, Johnathan Kovacevic are just a few examples.

Although his production has slipped in recent years, there are a few Habs who will remember heated battles against the former Ottawa Senator. While he doesn’t move the needle for the offence, he does bring a veteran presence and helps the Habs centre depth. It seems an odd move, leaving the Habs with three right-shot centremen and one lefty - Alex Newhook.

However, White is an unrestricted free agent come July, so even if the move doesn’t work out, he comes off the book after this season. In a depth role with Michael Pezzetta, Brendan Gallagher and/or Jesse Ylonen, the fourth line doesn’t have a ton of pressure to score goals. Which is precisely what could draw the best from the 2015 first-round draftee. 

Gignac being sent down, while it may be tough to take on the chin for the player, isn’t a punishment. Gignac has played particularly well, even notching his first NHL goal. He gave the Habs an idea of what he brings, and his experience will be an asset for the Rocket in their Calder Cup quest. 

Think smart, positionally sound and always looking to make an impact - that’s a perfect description of White. He may not be a 20-25-point producer anymore, but he is a solid two-way presence down the middle. At his best, he is a pest in all three zones, with his quick stick and strong skating. 

The Boston College alumni was a strong producer and play driver during his time in the NCAA. Unfortunately, he was never able to live up to his draft day hype, topping out with 14-27-41 totals through 71 games in 2018-19 with the Senators. White, a native of Boston, MA., scored 15 points with the Florida Panthers last year, which is on par with fourth-line production, so he still has potential to produce.

Coincidentally, the Habs are visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, so he just has to move down the hallway to the visitors' room. The Canadiens confirmed he will face off against his former team tonight. What a great story, I expect he will be a little hot under the collar, given the Penguins' decision to waive him.