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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Canadiens Buy Out Final Year of Laraque's Contract

The Montreal Canadiens officially parted ways with right wing and enforcer Georges Laraque yesterday by buying out the final year of his three-year contract. The buyout was for $1 million, which will be spread out over two seasons at $500,000 per season. The Canadiens first announced they were going to buy out Laraque on January 21 when it was announced he had become a distraction to the team. He remained on the roster for the remainder of the season, but did not play in any games or participate in practices. In 28 games last season with the Canadiens, Laraque had one goal and two assists for three points and 28 penalty minutes. In 695 career NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Montreal Canadiens, he has 53 goals and 100 assists for 153 points and 1126 penalty minutes. He has been in and out of the lineup the past few seasons with back problems. This could very well spell the end of Laraque's NHL career, as he has not played the enforcer role very well in recent seasons. He has been reluctant to drop the gloves and defend teammates and does not play as physical as he used to. Most teams will likely pass on Laraque once free agency starts, but if he can prove he is willing to play the enforcer role, he might get a training camp invitation later this summer from a team looking to add some toughness.

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