Ben Chiarot is saying au revoir to the Winnipeg Jets.
The defenceman, who played six seasons for the NHL’s Jets, has signed a three-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The deal has an average annual value of $3.5 million US.
He is the fifth big name to leave the Jets this off-season. Fellow defenceman Tyler Myers (Vancouver Canucks) and forward Brandon Tanev (Pittsburgh Penguins) found new teams through free agency, while defenceman Jacob Trouba was traded to the New York Rangers.
The Jets also traded forward Kevin Hayes to the Philadelphia Flyers in early June.
The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Chiarot — who was born in Hamilton — had a career-high 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) and 62 penalty minutes in 78 games with the Jets last season.
He also ranked second on the team for blocked shots, with 139, and third for hits, with 171.
Chiarot, 28, has 64 points (12 goals, 52 assists) in 305 career regular-season games, all with Winnipeg.
“[He] 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.”