After having their spot in the sunlight during the Canadiens stretch of injuries to the likes of captain Saku Koivu, Chris Higgins, and others, Montreal has re-assigned forwards Kyle Chipchura and Greg Stewart to the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs.
With the return of Koivu last night in New Jersey and the imminent return of his linemate Higgins, the Canadiens had to free up some space up front and Chipchura and Stewart were re-assigned, while Max Pacioretty is still staying with the Canadiens, at least through the All-Star break.
Both had limited playing time when they were in uniform. Chipchura, who was called up for the second time this season on January 1, played in eight games, collecting two assists and five penalty minutes, while averaging 10:50 minutes of ice time per game.
Chipchura, who was wearing the "C" in Hamilton before being recalled, has 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) with a +15 rating in 25 AHL games this season. Chipchura's solid two-way play makes him a valuable player in the Montreal system, yet his faceoff's have been less than perfect, an area the Canadiens want him to improve in.
Stewart, who was recalled on December 15, only got to play in three games but made the most of those contests as he notched his first NHL point against Ottawa last Saturday and was a +1 while averaging 9:38 of ice time.
In Hamilton, Stewart has 15 points and was a +5 with 131 PIMs in 40 AHL games this season. Stewart's physical play makes him a very valuable asset in the Canadiens system as well. His edge and his determination mirror that of Tom Kostopolous or Steve Begin, except with an offensive upside.
Both players are expected to be in uniform when Hamilton hosts the Chicago Wolves, Atlanta's AHL affiliate, on Friday night.
Matt Eichel is the Community Leader for the Montreal Canadiens here on Bleacher Report. Matt also co-hosts Habs All Out Radio, a in-depth talk radio show devoted to all things Montreal Canadiens. It airs weekly at www.youcastr.com/shows/habs-all-out and is hosted by Matt and Miah D.