Canadiens claim Blair Betts

Blair Betts has been claimed by the Montreal Canadiens on waivers.

Matt Walker and Oskars Bartulis have cleared waivers.

General manager Paul Holmgren said it was a “tough conversation” to let Betts know he was on the waiver wire. Betts, 31, was an attractive option for teams as a prototypical fourth-line center, faceoff expert and ace penalty killer for a manageable $700,000.

Holmgren said he made a few phone calls to gauge interest in his players before finally putting them on waivers.

Walker, 31, was praised for a strong training camp after missing nearly all of last season with three different surgeries. He has cleared waivers before and his $1.7 million salary, with 2 years remaining, made him a tough sell for teams as a depth defenseman.

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