38-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Francis Bouillon Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2014.
Bouillon will skate with the Canadiens during training camp, the Montreal Gazette reports.
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Francis Bouillon: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Francis Bouillon.
Bouillon returned to Montreal, where he began his NHL career, and reunited with coach Michel Therrien last season. He had just nine points in 48 games, but he brought a steady game to the blue line and earned himself a one-year extension. He'll be a fifth/sixth defenseman for the Canadiens this season and can serve as a mentor to young defenders, like Jarrod Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu and Greg Pateryn, who are on the cusp of full-time duty in the NHL.
Bouillon, who was signed as a free agent this past summer, has history with both the Canadiens and their new head coach, Michel Therrien. The Canadiens know what they're getting with Bouillon, who has played nine seasons in Montreal and considers Therrien a mentor. At 36, soon to be 37, Bouillon gets a one-year deal to fill the gap before young prospects Jared Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu are ready for the lights (and pressure cooker) of Montreal. We expect to see Bouillon on the active roster, but first he'll wage the training-camp battle for one of the final three defensive spots with Tomas Kaberle, Yannick Weber and Raphael Diaz.
Bouillon's 2010-11 season was cut short after sustaining a concussion in January. In March, it looked like Bouillon was getting ready to start skating again with the team, but suddenly started experiencing headaches and was forced to discontinue his workouts. After suffering a similar setback in July, there is now considerable doubt whether Bouillon can resume his role as one of the Preds' top four defensemen this season. The good news is, Bouillon had just 10 points in 44 games last year, giving him fantasy relevance in only the deepest of leagues.
Bouillon played a career-high 81 games for the Preds last season, ranking second on the team – and among the top 20 NHL defensemen – in hits (162). He also tied for third on the team in penalty minutes (50) and posted 11 points while averaging 19:18 of ice time per game. Bouillon is pretty much your average stay-at-home type who will likely serve as the Preds' fourth or fifth defenseman this year. His fantasy value is limited to deeper leagues only.
Bouillon is a bruiser, but not much of a scorer. He's playing too far down on the defensive line, as a member of the third defensive pairing with Josh Gorges, to have much of a fantasy impact in 2008-09. He may see limited minutes on the second power-play unit but not enough to get excited about.
The diminutive yet feisty Bouillon (aka Cube) was affected by a troubling knee last year but is now 100 percent and should be able to return to his former above-average form. Nevertheless, Cube has no merit fantasywise at this juncture.
Bouillon won't be able to play until at best early December. His return will be a boost to the team as he's a fearless tough little defenseman with some skill as well as boatloads of courage and grit. With 22 points in 67 games, however, Bouillon's not enough of a scorer to warrant attention unless you're in a 20-25 team league.
Francis Bouillon is a tough defenseman. The smallest player on the roster from last NHL season, Bouillon is not afraid to drop the gloves or to take on bigger opposing players. However, the Canadiens will probably not put him in during crucial situations when they face major power forwards late in the game. Bouillon is a veteran, but he’ll have to earn all of his ice time this season. He’s a good skater with a decent shot.