First and second-year professionals did not require protection, so Buffalo could rest easy knowing players such as Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart weren't going anywhere. Put the two together and now the Sabres added to their defense while the Canadiens will get something in return. Beaulieu started last season as Shea Weber's partner on Montreal's top pairing, but that experiment didn't last long.
With Montreal facing elimination in game six of their series against the New York Rangers in the 2017 National Hockey League playoffs, Beaulieu was named as a healthy scratch. In 225 games for the Canadiens over the last five seasons Beaulieu totaled 60 points (7+53) and had a plus-19 rating with only one season on the negative side.
"Obviously, it's disappointing", Beaulieu said of being a healthy scratch against NY, per the Montreal Gazette. The Canadiens were eliminated from the playoffs in that game, losing 3-1. The teams announced the trade Saturday prior to the NHL's trade freeze for the Vegas expansion draft.
It'll be from the penthouse to the basement for Beaulieu, who departs the 47-26-9 Canadiens for the 33-37-12 Sabres.