MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens have signed former Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ben Chiarot to a three-year contract.
The deal has an average annual value of US$3.5 million.
The six-foot-three, 219-pound Hamilton native had a career-high 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) and 62 penalty minutes in 78 games with the Jets last season. Chiarot ranked second on the Jets with 139 blocked shots and third with 171 hits.
The 28-year-old has 64 points (12 goals, 52 assists) in 305 career regular-season games, all with Winnipeg. He has three assists in 24 career playoff games.
"(Chiarot) is a very reliable defenceman and a solid player who will fill a need for our club," Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. "He is the type of player who can play some big minutes and be used in different situations. We are convinced he will improve our defensive group."
The Jets, meanwhile, have now lost Chiarot, forward Brandon Tanev (Pittsburgh Penguins) and defenceman Tyler Myers (Vancouver Canucks) in free agency.
Winnipeg still needs to sign restricted free agents Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.