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Samuel Montembeault doesn’t want to become a free agent next summer
Everyone knows how far Samuel Montembeault has come since his arrival in Montreal two years ago. The Quebec goaltender has gone from a throwaway to an established player.

And now, he’s an important part of the future.

I’m the first to want to see the Habs draft an excellent goalie at the end of the month(ideally as soon as possible), but it’s not to replace the Quebecer. On the contrary: it’s to one day have an excellent duo in front of the net.

As you know, Montembeault’s contract expires in a year’s time. The $1 million-a-year player will be an unrestricted free agent when his contract expires.

From what we understand from Kent Hughes’ public comments, the Canadiens intend to keep their goaltender. That’s not to say that his #1 priority is to sign him to a contract extension on July 1, but it’s clear that putting down roots in the city is an important issue.

And Montembeault, who has already expressed an interest in a contract extension (ideally in 2023) in Montreal, was even clearer with Arpon Basu: not only does he want to sign with the Habs, he’s not interested in becoming a free agent.

Paul Corbeil, who represents the Mauricie goalie’s interests, will be at the draft (live from Nashville) at the end of the month. His goal? To start negotiating with Kent Hughes. We know that the latter is open to signing him, but we don’t know when.

It’s understandable that Montembeault should want to do just that. After all, he’s coming off a great year, and if he wants to stay in Montreal, his chances are better by signing a contract now.

That way, the man who dominated the World Championships recently would secure his place in the sun.

In the short to medium term, Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau both have contracts valid until 2025. And since Primeau can’t avoid the ballot to return to Laval, we have to assume, until proven otherwise, that he’s in Montreal to stay.

Even if the CH were to start the season with three goalies, we agree that at some point, a choice will have to be made. With a long-term contract, Montembeault would give himself some certainty.

I can’t wait to see the price he might ask, but if he’s in it for the long haul, the club would just have to find another goalie to form a duo for the future. Easier said than done, I know, but still.

In brief

– The expansion process is taking up space in the NHL.

– Oh no?

– Imitating Stanley Cup champions: a volatile recipe. [BPM Sports]

– Big win for the Blue Jays yesterday.

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