Canadiens Goalie Trade Still Possible as Rumours Swirl

The Hockey Writers

General manager Kent Hughes has been vocal about trying to figure out and move one of the three goalies on the Montreal Canadiens’ roster all season. The team went into the season with three, and as we quickly approach the trade deadline this season, all three remain on the roster.

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Hughes has had a tough time moving a goalie, as they have seemingly been at it all season. Each goalie has had their ups and downs, but Jake Allen has had the lowest times of the three. Being a veteran and playing the worst of the three after the first month of the season, it makes the most sense that the Canadiens have been pushing to move on from Allen over Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau.

Jake Allen Montreal Canadiens
Jake Allen, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While Allen has another year left on his deal at $3.85 million AAV (average annual value) before becoming an unrestricted free agent (UFA), Montembeault is signed through 2027, and Primeau is a restricted free agent (RFA) at the end of next season. Nothing is confirmed, but it seems logical that the Canadiens would have already made up their mind on who they want to move forward with if they can. The team isn’t ready to compete just yet, but they will move further away if Montembeault is traded and may regret moving on from Primeau so early into his NHL career.

Where the Goalie Trade Rumors Are Coming From

The Canadiens have been shopping Allen to contenders who have holes that need to be filled. This should have and may very well have come at the start of the season when certain teams were struggling or had injuries, but clearly, no move was made by Montreal.

Most recently, there have been reports by multiple insiders, including Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger saying Allen is not being dealt to the Colorado Avalanche, but although there haven’t been discussions between the two sides in days, there had been previous talks. Nothing seems to be imminent at this time, but as Alexandar Georgiev is the only goalie the team can trust right now, they are the prime target for the Canadiens to have discussions with.

Alexandar Georgiev Colorado Avalanche
Alexandar Georgiev, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Avalanche have some cap room right now with Gabriel Landeskog on the LTIR (long-term injured reserve) and Valeri Nichushkin in the player assistance program, but would definitely need the Canadiens to retain some money in the trade regardless. Pavel Francouz is out for the remainder of the season, Ivan Prosvetov, who the Avalanche picked up on waivers, has been put through waivers and already sent down, and their final internal option for the time being is Justus Annunen. From his start, he seems like he will need more time, something the Avalanche don’t have this season as they try for another Stanley Cup.

I am counting on the Canadiens and Avalanche having more discussions in the near future regarding Allen even though his stats haven’t been the greatest. There aren’t a ton of options for the Avalanche to trade for that fit the bill of an experienced netminder who could hold down the net if needed. Allen does fit their needs and a change in scenery could be great for him. Francouz just can’t be trusted to stay healthy, and he is a UFA at the end of the season. Trading for Allen at a reduced cap hit would help the Avalanche for this season and next. The Canadiens know firsthand that Allen can go on a run and play very well like he did to begin the season when he went 3-1-1 with a .927 save percentage in the first five games of the season.

Related: Lias Andersson Should Be Next Canadiens Forward Called Up

While an eye should be kept on the Avalanche to make a move, the Canadiens will have discussions where they can as Hughes is adamant about moving a goalie, and it should be Allen.

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