The Canadiens this afternoon waived goaltender Marc Denis and defenceman Alex Henry, leaving both at the disposal of other NHL clubs. Should they go unclaimed, they will be bound for the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs
The players’ NHL service meant the Canadiens had to use this process in order to return them to the minors.
Denis, 31, signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Canadiens on July 3, having played 348 NHL games over portions of 10 seasons with Colorado, Columbus and, most recently, Tampa Bay.
He had been placed on waivers, then bought out, by Tampa Bay shortly before signing with Montreal.
Denis clearly wasn’t going to be on the Canadiens’ season-opening roster, though goaltending coach Rollie Melanson said a few weeks ago that the veteran "is going to be an ace in the hole for us."
Denis appeared in three preseason games with a save percentage of .852 and an average of 4.00, the weakest of the four netminders who got work.
"If my road back to the NHL means going through Hamilton, I’m ready to do that," Denis told NHL.com in July. "Just because I’ve played 8 1/2 years in the NHL doesn’t mean I’m too good to go to the AHL. It is a step back, but it’s a step back to go forward."
The stock of Cédrick Desjardins, meanwhile, has risen sharply. The 23-year-old was perfect through 45 minutes of preseason action, plus a four-round shootout in Detroit. He won a Memorial Cup with Quebec in 2006 and last season, his second as a pro, led the East Coast league’s Cincinnati Cyclones to the Kelly Cup title.
Henry, 28, was signed to a one-year deal the same day as Denis. The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder had three goals, 13 assists and 142 penalty minutes for Milwaukee in the AHL last season. The past two seasons a member of the Nashville Predators’ organization, he’s played 175 NHL games for Edmonton, Washington and Minnesota.
Henry had a spirited scrap in the Canadiens’ first preseason game in Halifax, battling Boston’s Byron Bitz, and two more against Ottawa’s Chris Neil and Brad Isbister on Sept. 26 at the Bell Centre. He appeared in three exhibition games and has been rehabilitating a back injury in recent days.