Arber Xhekaj officially “called back” up to NHL club

After a bit of a roster flip-flop, the Montreal Canadiens have called up defenseman Arber Xhekaj to join the NHL roster ahead of Wednesday’s contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs. This comes after Xhekaj was informed he made the team on Monday, then sent down to Laval a few hours later.

While it was a bit confusing at the moment, the move was likely to keep the Montreal Canadiens cap compliant so that they could make a corresponding move today. Which they did. The team announced that forward Paul Byron was placed on the Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR).

This opened up a roster spot which was then given to Arber Xhekaj as was promised to him during the final round of cuts on Monday. While it was a simple move and expected, Xhekaj has officially been named to the roster and will join the team for Wednesday’s game against the Maple Leafs.

Montreal Canadiens defender Arber Xhekaj was called back up to NHL on Tuesday.

It’s a great accomplishment for Xhekaj coming out of training camp after winning over some of the Habs faithful already. His enforcer and physical style on defense stood out in camp. Besides the physicality, Xhekaj looked NHL-ready and looked like he at least deserved his chance to see how he fares against NHL talent.

So, the staff is giving Xhekaj his chance to stick with the Habs in the NHL. He will bring a physical presence and some youth to the defense core. For the Canadiens, they are already thin on defense so adding Xhekaj adds to the defense core.

They are taking seven bodies into the season with them with Xhekaj now added into the mix. It’s a young defense core with Kaiden Guhle set for his NHL debut as well, after making the Habs roster. For Xhekaj, the shakeup yesterday was likely for cap management to stay compliant before moving Byron to the LTIR.

But, nonetheless, the young defender will be with the Habs roster and is going to get the chance to make his debut. As the season continues, Xhekaj is going to bring a good presence to the defense even if he’s going to go through some growing pains.

While the fans are excited for the season right now, and things could vastly change over two months, the Habs will take on the Ottawa Senators in December, hopefully, Xhekaj sticks with the team until that point, or at least gets called back up if he is sent down.

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