The Montreal Canadiens have signed Francis Bouillon to a one year contract worth $1.5 million.
Bouillon has a pleasant surprise this season with the Canadiens defensively, playing with young defensemen PK Subban and Jarred Tinordi. The 5-foot-8, 200-pound rearguard may only have a goal and six assists in 29 games, but he wasn’t signed for his offensive output.
Francis made his professional debut the 1996-97 season in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers and played the following season in the IHL with the Quebec Rafales before he was signed as a free agent to an NHL contract by the Montreal Canadiens in 1998. He played the next 11 seasons, the majority of his career (except for a short stint with the Predators in 2002–03) within the Canadiens organization. At 5’8″ and 201 lbs, Bouillon is considered small for an NHL defensemen but is never one to shy away from physical play. According to Pierre Houde, he is one of the strongest players in the NHL, according to official physical tests. On September 30, 2009, just prior to the 2009–10 season, Bouillon was signed to a one-year contract as a late inclusion to the Nashville Predators after joining the team on a try-out for training camp. In returning to the Predators after an initial four game stint in 2002, Bouillon established himself within the Predators defense as a stay-at-home d-man to appear in 81 games, missing only a single game, for 3 goals and 11 points.
In 705 career games, he has 30 goals and 111 assists, with 489 penalty minutes.
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