Canadiens recall Arber Xhekaj, place Paul Byron on long-term injured reserve

Nicholas Abruzzese (26) of the Toronto Maple Leafs fights for a puck with Arber Xhekaj (72) of the Montreal Canadiens during second period NHL preseason action. (Nick Iwanyshyn/CP)

The Montreal Canadiens have recalled defenceman Arber Xhekaj from the AHL's Laval Rockets ahead of their regular season opener.

Xhekaj was informed by head coach Martin St. Louis that he made the roster but had to be sent down to the AHL in order for the team to be salary cap compliant before Monday's roster deadline. The 21-year-old impressed the team during training camp and joins a young blue line that also features Jordan Harris and Kaiden Guhle.

The Canadiens placed forward Paul Byron on long-term injured reserve to make room to bring back Xhekaj. The 33-year-old has been dealing with an ongoing hip injury that limited him to 27 games last season.

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