Gonchar, Malhotra, Weaver done with Canadiens

Marc Bergevin was pleased with the leadership group in Montreal, so naming a captain is not a priority for the team.

Defencemen Sergei Gonchar, Mike Weaver and forward Manny Malhotra will not return to the Montreal Canadiens next season.

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said at a press conference Friday he informed the three pending unrestricted free agents of the team’s decision not to re-sign them and thanked them for their services.

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: | Broadcast Schedule
Rogers GameCentre LIVE | Stanley Cup Playoffs Fantasy Hockey
New Sportsnet app: iTunes | Google Play

Gonchar registered one goal, 13 assists in 48 games this season but hadn’t played since Apr. 3. The 41-year-old was acquired from the Dallas Stars in November in exchange for forward Travis Moen.

Malhotra, 34, played 58 games with the Canadiens this season after joining the franchise as a free agent last summer, while Weaver only played 48 games in his two seasons with the Habs. Like Gonchar, neither suited up for any post-season games.

The Canadiens still have to address two other free agents — forward Torrey Mitchell and defenceman Jeff Petry — and Bergevin says re-signing the latter is a top priority.

The Canadiens were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs earlier this week, dropping a second-round series 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.