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Monday, July 16, 2012

Montreal Canadiens Offseason Player Profile: Francis Bouillon

Frankie B Returns to Montreal

Francis Bouillon - D
5'8" 198 lbs
2011-12 Stats 66GP- 4G- 7A- 11 Pts- -4

The Cost

Francis Bouillon returned to the Canadiens after a three year absence, signing a one year contract worth $1.5 million.

The price tag hardly seems high as the Canadiens acquire — or re-acquire rather — some depth on the blue line with the addition of a tough as nails defenseman who has spent the last three seasons playing behind the likes of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter with the Nashville Predators.

One can't help but imagine that you gain nothing but positives by learning from what was arguably one of the best defensive tandems in the NHL.

That's not to say that Bouillon will bring top quality to the Canadiens blue line, but it's a nice addition to the Habs back end, giving younger players like Frederic St-Denis, Nathan Beaulieu, Morgan Ellis and Jared Tinordi more time to develop.

Performance

Bouillon's seven goals in the 2011-12 campaign were as many as P.K Subban's, the Habs leading scorer on the blue line.

His 103 hits would have been fourth behind Alexei Emelin (236), Josh Gorges (131) and Subban (105).

Bouillon averaged 17:32 minutes of ice time last season, which would easily be top six minutes on the Canadiens.

The Fit

At the time of his signing, many fans in Montreal had him pegged as purely a depth signing who would fight for time as the seventh defeseman.

I believe however, that Bouillon will start the season in the top six along with Andrei Markov, Gorges, Subban, Emelin and Tomas Kaberle.

With the mentioned players filling out the top six, that would leave Raphael Diaz and Yannick Weber — provided he's still with the team — fighting for time as the seventh defenseman as well as some probable appearances by Frederic St-Denis.

Were you happy with the return of Bouillon? And do you see him as more of a top six d-man or as an insurance policy on the blueline?


Check out other player profiles:

Ryan White
Travis Moen
Brandon Prust
Colby Armstrong
Carey Price
Lars Eller


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Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.


(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

3 comments:

Yes love the siging, always loved his effort and grit.
He is for sure top 6 for now, and is up to Diaz to supplant Kaberle or Bouillon for that 6th spot. Or maybe mmore moves still to be played by MB.

@ Anon

I am not against this signing but would hardly qualify this as I love it.

Bouillon is a steady and dependable player but injuries have limited his abilities in recent years.

It still does not address our lack of size on the blueline as well.

Good stuff Sean!

Personally, I like this signing. It adds depth, toughness and experience to a rather young blueline.

Not an earth shattering move, mind you, but an effective one.

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