It took them a while to finalize the details, but when they were done, the Montreal Canadiens gained a promising young defenceman from the southeast in their back pocket.
Carlyle product Cale Fleury was signed to a three year, entry level contract last week by the Habs, and was assigned to play for their AHL affiliate Laval Rockets for the 2018-19 season after completing development, rookie and main camps with the NHL team.
"I couldn't be happier to, honestly. It was a big goal of mine coming into this camp, and especially this one in particular, that contract helped me out with being able to stay here with the AHL team and develop...it's probably the best thing for me going forward," said the 19 year old.
He had no knowledge that anything was in the works for the majority of his time spent in Montreal, until he was notified a couple days before hand by his agents. Now, he gets to take his hard hitting style of hockey to the pros, and it's been fitting in well.
"It's been good so far. I think I've put enough work in this summer in the gym, and the past year has just built my body up so I can play the same way at the pro level as I did in junior."
He's had to adjust to another element of intensity to the game, now that it's a professional occupation, and he's also been able to take advice from those with experience around him.
"In the past with the development team from Montreal, they just tell me to watch Shea Weber (current Habs captain). They think I could play similar to him. Maybe not on the same level as him, but hopefully. Similar style of play, and he's a simple defenceman who plays hard to play against, a good shot, stuff like that."
Fleury joins an AHL team that's still in it's early years since being relocated to it's Montreal suburb location from St. Johns, Newfoundland.
"I think it should be a good season. I think there should be a lot of improvement from the last year. They kind of had a tough season last year, (24-42) but this season the core veterans that they have are really good. The staff they've brought in are going to help us have the best season we can, and help develop us to our best, too."
Residing in the only province in Canada that speaks french as it's official language, he added that there's some work to do to polish up his communication skills.
"It's not great. I took it up until grade nine, so I know some of the basics, but I'm definitely going to have to take some lessons throughout the season," Fleury laughed.