Laraque is not happy with the decision, or the timing of Thursday's announcement. The Montreal native is of Haitian descent and has family members who have been devastated by last week's earthquake.
The 13-year NHL veteran will be paid his $1.5 million salary this season and remain on the roster.
General manager Bob Gainey says Laraque has not been productive and has become a distraction. "I told him that he would not be continuing as part of our group for the rest of this season, for reasons of lack of productivity and distractions to our group," Gainey said. "We felt our goals were more achievable to continue without him as part of the group."
Laraque is in the second year of a three-year, $4.5-million contract that included a no movement clause, which means the Canadiens could not place him on waivers or send him to the American Hockey League.
Gainey would not confirm whether the team would buy out the final year of Laraque's contract.
Laraque has played just 61 games over the past two seasons. He scored his only goal with the club last week against Dallas and dedicated it to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.