Skip to content
Samuel Montembeault at the CDM: the exclamation point of a fine season

Just under two years ago, when Samuel Montembeault arrived in Montreal via the ballot… well, you know where I’m going with this: he’s progressed like crazy and he’s worked hard to get there.

I’m cutting my introduction not because the Quebecer hasn’t progressed, but because it’s often repeated. And if we repeat it, it’s because it’s dazzling and impressive.

After all, the talent has always been there, but many talented players never got their chance. Monty, on the other hand, jumped at his chance, and he’s had plenty of time to settle in Montreal.

And today, he’s reaping the rewards of his efforts.

This year, Montembeault was healthy and it showed. He stopped nine pucks out of 10 with the Habs (.901 efficiency rate) and his 3.42 average in 40 games with a bad team is good.

What happened next? He went on to win gold at the World Championship in the Canadian colors. And in Europe, his numbers are simply staggering in seven games.

What’s interesting in his case is that Canada still had good goaltenders behind him. Joel Hofer and Devon Levi are good youngsters on the rise.

Obviously, in a tournament like this, the veteran has the net first. But if Samuel Montembeault hadn’t delivered the goods, he clearly wouldn’t have kept his net for very long.

André Tourigny doesn’t have the luxury of patience in a tournament like this.

But like his two campaigns with the Canadiens, Montembeault has worked hard to earn his place in the sun. He can savour his gold medal with dignity, having made the big saves at the right time.

I wonder what impact this will have on things going forward. Hockey-wise, even if the IIHF tournament isn’t the same caliber as the NHL, it hasn’t lost any points – quite the contrary.

And on the salary front?

The player who is one year away from full autonomy will earn $1 million in 2023-2024. Does Kent Hughes see his protégé’s value rising, and thinks it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to his contract?

Perhaps, yes.

In a row

– With three points in 10 games, Justin Barron didn’t look bad at the CDM.

– Of note for the Memorial Cup.

– Yes.

– What a player.

– Sad news that goes beyond the artistic.

More Content