Wisniewski hopes to make mark with Habs on and off the ice Staff

12/30/2010 4:01:07 PM

James Wisniewski already made his mark with the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday without playing a single shift.

The Habs' new blueliner invited the French Canadian media to his stall after the team's game day skate and won them over with a few choice words.

"I got one thing to say, first off," he said with a smile. "Je m'appelle James. Je suis tres excite de jouer pour le Canadien de Montreal. Pretty good, huh?"

The Canadiens acquired Wisniewski on Tuesday, hoping to shore up a struggling blueline group that's already missing Andrei Markov and won't have Josh Gorges for a second straight game.

The 26-year-old - who will wear No. 20 Thursday night in a pairing with rookie defenceman Yannick Weber - is expected to log in lots of minutes for a club that is 16 points better than his former team.

"I think it's more exciting," Wisniewski told reporters. "I can't say enough about the Islanders organization. They're great people, but we struggled with a plague of injuries obviously with Mark Streit being out and Kyle Okposo and many others. But to get traded to a Stanley Cup contending team is very exciting. I can't emphasize how much that means to me."

Wishniewski has three goals and 21 points in 32 games this season, with 13 of them coming on the man advantage.