The arbitration dates were set yesterday and less than 24 hours later, Bergevin managed to sign both Joel Armia and Artturi Lehkonen to new 2 year deals.
Armia is now committed to the CH for the next 2 years at $2.6 M per. At the end of that deal, the 26 year old will be an unrestricted free agents and therefore free to sign wherever he may like. To be honest, I'm quite happy that Bergevin chose a short deal, with plenty of prospects getting ready to make the big league, it's a good motivation for them to see that there will be room. Mind you, perhaps Armia wanted a short deal to keep his options open but either way, I think this works out quite well for the Habs.
As for Artturi Lehkonen he put pen to paper on a 2 year deal worth $2.4 M per. Unlike Armia though, he will not be a UFA at the end of this contract and the Habs will still own his rights as a restricted free agents. Coming off his best season with 31 points in 82 games, the young Finn could hardly expect to break the bank so he gets a further two years to prove himself and put up numbers that could warrant a long term commitment from the team and not just a bridge deal.
Now that these two matters are settled, only Charles Hudon remains unsigned (from the NHL roster) and his arbitration date is set for August 2nd. Last month, Hudon rejected the Habs' qualifying offer and while the actual money details are unknown, he was offered a two way contract. Clearly Hudon feels that this would be a set-back for him and he's looking for a one-way deal. Sadly though, there seems to be less and less room for him with the Habs. The likes of Poehling, Suzuki and Caufield will soon be wearing the red, white and blue and adding Nick Cousins on a one-way deal just took up another roster spot. In the AHL, Michael McCarron is also a restricted free agent and it will be interesting to see if he can reach a deal with the organization.
After these two signings, the Canadiens are down to a $4,844,524 projected cap space (but you can add a couple of millions to that if both Alzner and Weise's contract are buried in the AHL. Seems that if some reinforcement is to come on the left side of the defence, it will more than likely come via trade. With another couple of months left before we can even start talking about training camp, Bergevin still have plenty of time to polish his roster.