The Canadiens showed how much help they may end up needing this season on the blue line and signed free agent defenseman Joe Callahan to a one-year two way contract. The financial terms of the contract were not disclosed as per the team policies.
The 6'3", 210 lbs, 28 years old defenseman played 27 games with the Florida Panthers in 2010-2011 and registered one assist, 12 penalty minutes and 21 shots on goal. He also played 48 games with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League and added 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) with the team.
A native of Brockton, Massachusetts, Callahan was drafted in the third round, 70th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and since his professional debut, he has played 450 career regular season games in the AHL and 46 career regular season games in the NHL with the New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks and the Florida Panthers. He has recorded four assists and maintained a +5 plus/minus differential and has sat in the sin-bin for 16 minutes during his short NHL journey. In 450 AHL games, Callahan has registered 100 points (19 goals, 81 assists) and 359 penalty minutes.
The quick signing of Callahan, only a day after Campoli went down to an injury against the Maple Leafs, demonstrates the faith (or lack thereof) that the team has in their current young defensemen, especially Alexei Yemelin and Yannick Weber. It seems that Weber will continue to play the "extra forward" role having given up his position to his fellow Swiss Raphael Diaz. The two-way contract does ensure that Callahan will join the AHL Bulldogs when either Campoli or Markov return back to the lineup.