Montreal Canadiens defenseman Davis Drewiske.
From the get-go, re-signing Drewiske seemed like a mistake. Once the Habs inked Murray two months later, it officially became one. Now out with a shoulder injury, Drewiske just doesn’t figure into the team’s future (or present) plans.
Currently, the Habs have nine defensemen listed on the roster, including Drewiske. With Beaulieu playing decently so far and perhaps ready to take the next step in his development, there just isn’t room for Drewiske once he gets back.
Realistically, considering Beaulieu has a higher cap hit ($925,000 versus $650,000) and has a two-way contract, he’s probably destined to stay in the minors this season barring further injuries. Nevertheless, Drewiske should be demoted to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
If Beaulieu was playing good hockey, but wasn’t good enough to stay, what does that say about Drewiske, a player whom, let’s not forget, was benched in favor of rookie Jarred Tinordi during the playoffs. Tinordi, by the way, was recently benched in favor of Beaulieu before being sent down last week.
If only by the transitive property of mathematics, Beaulieu is clearly more deserving of the roster spot. Hell, if only by rudimentary eyesight, Beaulieu is more deserving. So, with Beaulieu getting sent down, logically so should Drewiske.
Even with the colloquially named “Wade Redden Rule” in the new collective bargaining agreement that prevents players with one-way contracts to be buried in the minors, Drewiske’s salary wouldn’t count against the cap. That only applies to salaries above $900,000.
Drewiske was obviously re-signed as little more than a depth defenseman. However, when you don’t trust him enough to play during the playoffs despite a rash of injuries, it brings into question the logic behind his brand-new two-year contract. It also brings into question the trade that brought him here in the first place…even if it was only for a fifth-round pick.
Consider that Brendan Gallagher, for example, was a fifth-round pick.