The Montreal Canadiens claimed center Jeff Halpern off waivers from the New York Rangers on Saturday team general manager, Marc Bergevin, announced.

A 36-year-old checking forward who is strong on faceoffs, Halpern had one assist and was minus-5 in 30 games for New York this season.

He is earning a pro-rated $700,000 this season and can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

This will be his second stint in Montreal. The Washington, D.C., native had 11 goals and 15 assists in 72 games after he signed as a free agent with the Canadiens for the 2010-11 season.

He returned to the Washington Capitals as a free agent the following season, then signed with the Rangers last summer.

Halpern had a career-high 46 points with the Capitals in 2003-04. He has also played for Dallas, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles in his 13-year NHL career.

Halpern is the second player making his return to the Canadiens this season,  in February they brought back Michael Ryder along with  a third-round draft pick in 2013 in a trade with the Dallas Stars for forward Erik Cole.

The Canadiens play host to the Buffalo Sabres (7:00) at the Bell Centre Saturday.  It is still unclear whether Halpern will suit up against the Sabres or they will wait until Tuesday when the Canadiens travel to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins.

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