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.
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.