In minor, mildly surprising news, Akim Aliu has been released from his Professional Try-Out contract. These usually run for 25 games, yet the Canadiens released him well before it ended and they had to make a decision on whether to offer him a contract or not. You wonder how he wasn’t worth at least an AHL contract, if they didn’t want to give him one of the 50 contract slots. Did he and his agent prefer to tryout somewhere else for an NHL-AHL deal, instead of settling for a strict AHL deal?
It seems like the hot start he had in training camp petered out, but so has the entire Bulldogs team, only Sven Andrighetto, Magnus Nygren and Louis Leblanc lately have been clicking. Still, you'd think his size and strength would still come in handy on a smallish roster like the Bulldogs’. even if his offence had cooled off.
The only thought I had to explain this is that Stéfan Fournier has been playing lately, after starting the season as a healthy scratch, and maybe the Canadiens’ brass wanted to invest the minutes on him rather than Mr. Aliu. Stéfan Fournier is slated to fill pretty much the same role that you can envision for Mr. Aliu, that of the big rugged winger who'll play a physical game and pot a few goals while making life miserable for goaltenders and opposing defencemen.
In any case, it was a no-risk longshot on a player who is running out of chances to establish his NHL career, too bad it didn’t work out, but we didn’t lose anything from it.