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Habs sign hulking d-man Finley to AHL deal

Jul 29, 2014, 5:25 PM EDT

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

For the second straight day, Montreal has inked a veteran to a minor-league contract.

On Tuesday, the Habs agreed to terms with former Islanders blueliner Joe Finley. Finley, 27, is perhaps best known for two things: 1) being Washington’s first-round pick (27th overall) at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, and 2) being gigantic… like 6-foot-8, 250 pounds gigantic.

Finley spent all of last season with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, and has just 21 total games of NHL on his resume. It seems highly unlikely he’ll see much time in Montreal — given the Habs’ quality depth on defense throughout the organization — but it’s worth noting that Finley’s the second NHL journeyman GM Marc Bergevin has signed to an AHL deal recently.

On Monday, the Canadiens agreed to terms with former Minnesota forward Jake Dowell, who has over 150 games of NHL experience.

  1. lowenni - Jul 29, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Maybe to replace the similarly hulking Tinordi down at their minor league affiliate? Hockey GMs are so quick to look at size in the first round and draft that over all around quality–Finley here being an example. Same reason Samuel Morin was a bad pick at #13 for the Flyers, or why Oleksiak hasn’t really developed very nicely for Dallas. Or Jeff Schultz, and the list goes on. There’s a reason Zdeno Chara is the only one of his kind, ever. Players like him are hard to find. Tinordi will be an NHLer for Montreal, but chances are he ends up being too slow for top-4 duty for more than a few years.

    • bsaures - Jul 29, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      Tinordi actually has good speed for someone his size definitely more than almost anyone his size his speed wont be a issue

  2. djshnooks - Jul 29, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Thank you for not including Tyler Myers…who still has a good chance to develop into a player just about as close as you could possibly get to Zdeno Chara.

    But as for this?

    The #LegendofJoeFinley lives on! Lol.

    (Probably won’t get that unless you’re a Sabres fan…it goes back quite a ways.)

    • lowenni - Jul 29, 2014 at 5:49 PM

      Yeah I was including first rounders who didn’t make the impact they were supposed to based on their size, and really were only drafted because of their size. Myers is different because he could actually skate when he was drafted, and had hockey sense, hands, shot, etc. You’re right, he is as close as anyone is going to get to Chara. He’s one of the very few exceptions–my point was don’t draft a player with no skill at all just because they’re huge, over really talented people: (see: Tom Wilson over Tomas Hertl; Oleksiak over Tomas Jurco and Brandon Saad; Joe Finley over Marc Edouard-Vlasic, James Neal, Matt Niskanen) and the list goes on

  3. wutangwild - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Went to the same HS as this guy. Dude is massive! Don’t know how good he is though…

  4. 19inarow - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    I’d love to see him kick Chara’s ass.

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