Armia is coming off a two-year, $5.2 million contract which he signed with the Canadiens. He was a pending unrestricted free agent. The Habs acquired the 28-year-old and a pair of draft picks in 2018 trade with the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for taking on the contract of goaltender Steve Mason.
Armia put up seven goals and 14 points in 41 games this season and added eight points in 21 games during Montreal’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Tough to Play Against
While Armia has proven to be consistent at times during the regular season, he showed this year that he is a playoff performer, forming a dominant line alongside veterans Corey Perry and Eric Staal.
Related: 2021 NHL Free Agent Signing Tracker
He is an aggressive forechecker who is tough to play against and his ability to control the puck in tight spaces helps create chances for his teammates. A former first-round pick of the Jets, Armia put up a career-high 16 goals and 30 points with the Habs in 2019-20.
How Armia Fits In
Armia is a big part of Montreal’s forward group thanks to his versatility and ability to play up and down the lineup.
He is crucial to the team’s penalty kill and is one of the Habs’ best defensive forwards, especially given the anticipated departure of Phillip Danault in free agency. He also can initiate and maintain the cycle in the offensive zone because he’s so hard to knock off the puck. He has a deceptively good shot and has a knack for scoring big goals.
This is an important signing for the Canadiens and solidifies their Top 9 heading into free agency on Wednesday. They are still hoping to bring back Perry as well. He was a great fit with the team last season, but locking up Armia is a good start to the offseason frenzy for general manager Marc Bergevin.
Melissa has been covering the Montreal Canadiens for The Hockey Writers since March of 2020. She is also THW’s Social Media & Marketing Manager as well as co-host of Chicks & Sticks, a weekly show produced by THW. In 2006, she spearheaded the social media initiatives for Tennis Canada and Rogers Cup and was the primary person responsible for their upkeep for over 10 years. She has written articles for multiple tennis websites and interviewed the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams. While her career in sports started in tennis, her first love has always been hockey. She has a journalism degree from Concordia University.