The Montreal Canadiens announced today that the Swedish centreman Andreas Engqvist will get another chance with the big boys for the second time this season. The Habs signed the 6'4", 197 lbs centreman in July 2009 to a three year contract. He has played 62 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs this season and has accumulated 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) during that time. He has also played two games with the Montreal Candiens in mid-January against Anaheim and Ottawa and averaged ten minutes per game of ice-time.
Engqvist's promotion comes with Palushaj's demotion. Aaron Palushaj, 21, acquired by the Habs in a trade with St. Louis was called up last week from the Hamilton Bulldogs, along with Nigel Dawes, to replace the ailing Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern. Palushaj, who managed to record 44 points in 57 games with the Bulldogs this season averaged 08:31 of ice-time in the three games he played with the Habs. While he remained absent from the scoresheets in terms of points, he did show glimpses of his talent to the fans and played with a lot of energy. He managed to record 3 shots on goal along with 3 hits and 2 penalty minutes. He will return to the Bulldogs with +1 on the plus/minus charts.
It can be safely assumed that Engqvist will be centering the fourth line along-side Dawes and Pyatt. Although he is not known for a physical playstyle, he does bring size to a position where the Canadiens desperately need size and has good offensive as well as defensive awareness.
Both Plekanec and Halpern are expected to resume skating this week and might make a comeback to the lineup this coming Saturday against the Washington Capitals. No specifics have been given by the team about the injuries to both forwards.