This just in, the Minnesota Wild have signed free agent defenseman Jon Merrill to a one year contract worth $850,000.
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Merrill played 13 regular season games and 13 playoff games for the Montreal Canadiens this spring/summer after being acquired from the Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline.
Merrill joins a Wild blueline that features Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba and other new additions Dmitry Kulikov and Alex Goligoski. Merrill will likely play down the lineup behind those above mentioned defensemen, but he provides the team with some solid depth at a cheap price.
As for the Habs, Merrill becomes the third prominent player to leave the team's roster via free agency this week joining Philip Danault and Corey Perry.
In case you missed it earlier today, ESPN NHL insider Kevin Weekes reported that Perry is set to sign a two year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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Perry, of course, lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Lightning in back to back years with the Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars. You may have forgotten that Perry was a prominent member of the 2020 Stars roster that fell to the Lightning in the Cup Final, as well. So... I mean... can you really blame Perry if he signs with the Lightning? He just went through two gruelling seasons only to have his teeth kicked in by the Lightning in the Final.
Habs GM Marc Bergevin announced earlier this week that he had tabled a fair offer to Perry and was hopeful that he'd return for at least one more season, but Perry evidently was content to move on. And let's be honest, moving on when you have an offer from the best team in the league is a lot easier than moving on to sign with a bottom feeder. At this point in his career Perry has to be driven by winning. He's made a ton of money, he's won scoring championships, he's won MVP awards and he's played on both sides of the border. At this point he's just looking to add another Stanley Cup to go along with the one he won in his rookie season with the Anaheim Ducks back in 2007. And with the Lightning Perry will have every opportunity to hoist the Cup another time.