Montreal Canadiens defenceman Arber Xhekaj.
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Amid trade rumors, Montreal Canadiens make major decision on the future of Arber Xhekaj

Published January 22, 2024 at 5:30 PM

Earlier on Monday, the Montreal Canadiens made the decision to loan defenceman Justin Barron to the AHL's Laval Rocket and place forward Mitchell Stephens on waivers, leaving themselves with two open roster spots.

A few hours later and one of those roster spots has been filled after the call up of a fan-favourite defenceman from the American Hockey League.

The Canadiens announced in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that they've recalled defenceman Arber Xhekaj from the AHL's Laval Rocket.

"The Canadiens have recalled defenseman Arber Xhekaj from the Laval Rocket.


Xhekaj, 22, was sent down to the Laval Rocket in early December after recovering from an upper-body injury and played quite well in the AHL. In 17 games, the Hamilton native put up 11 points (three goals, eight assists), 34 penalty minutes and is a plus-three.

Xhekaj's return to the Canadiens comes at an important time as they've just dropped their last two games to Ottawa and Boston respectively by a combined score of 15-6 and will face the Senators at the Bell Centre tomorrow night.

The Canadiens may also be getting Tanner Pearson back on Tuesday as well, which would make the move to place Mitchell Stephens on waivers today understandable. Pearson has been out of the Canadiens lineup since early December with a hand injury and was given a four-to-six week recovery timeline.

January 22   |   400 answers
Amid trade rumors, Montreal Canadiens make major decision on the future of Arber Xhekaj

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