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Cayden Primeau is due to leave shortly

As you know, the Habs have a surplus of players at the moment. In fact, we’re talking about 27 players who are either under contract or under the control of the Montreal Canadiens: 16 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies.

The majority have a contract protecting them from Laval via the ballot, and the others are simply guys who deserve to make the club.

Everyone agrees that that’s a lot of people at Mass. There will have to be some departures, not only to make room on the ice, but also on the payroll.

And one of the candidates to leave is Cayden Primeau, an inconsistent goaltender who was drafted under the old regime.

It’s important to remember that the goaltender will have to go through the ballot if the Habs want to trade him to the Rocket next fall. We can expect him to be claimed… like Samuel Montembeault two years ago.

Obviously, the Canadiens could start the season with three goalies. That said, with Samuel Montembeault deserving to play and Jake Allen going nowhere else in the NHL, Primeau would get very little playing time. Even if he feels he deserves it.

More importantly, there are already four guys too many to make a 23-man roster. The CH, under such conditions, isn’t going to keep just 20 skaters to have three goalies.

It wouldn’t be a good decision.

So, unless the Habs are counting on a lot of injuries in camp, they’d better get ahead of the game and trade Cayden Primeau quickly this summer.

Why quickly? Because NHL teams are built in the summer.

I’m sure the Habs would love to send Primeau to Laval, but I also think he wouldn’t make it past the ballot. I can see him being snapped up by a club willing to take a chance and see what he’s got.

And I think the Habs know that.

After all, in addition to Primeau, Montembeault and Allen, the Habs also have Jakub Dobes in town. He should get his fair share of starts in Laval this season, so he can develop.

But that’s not all. While Kevin Poulin appears to be on his way out of Laval, goaltender Strauss Mann has signed a one-way AHL contract. And this morning, Quebecer Zachary Émond signed a deal allowing him to play in both Laval and Trois-Rivières.

Joe Vrbetic is not yet obliged to sign his NHL entry-level contract, but he can continue to add depth to the organization in Laval and the Mauricie region. Will he be back? Will Philippe Desrosiers still be in Trois-Rivières? To be seen.

And that’s not counting the on-the-fly moves we sometimes see in the AHL. A goalkeeper may be added in the short term in the minors.

All this to say that the numerous personnel moves seem to indicate that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton may not be able to afford to give Cayden Primeau yet another chance. Maybe that’s why the Rocket and Lions have found solutions in front of the net?

Maybe his success in the NCAA will translate to the NHL, but the Habs aren’t necessarily in a position to wait and see if they can afford to take charge at the highest level.

That’s why Kent Hughes, who avoids maximizing the market value of his players, might want to take steps now to ensure he doesn’t lose out to the lottery.

Perhaps it’s also why the Habs drafted no less than three goaltenders in the 2023 auction, adding depth to a position with many question marks.

Let’s not forget that the Rocket would surely like to count on Primeau, an experienced AHL goalie who has had success in the playoffs, since the club will be young… but that doesn’t always work out as well as you’d like, in life.

Let’s also remember that, in a press conference a few days ago, Hughes said he was aware that his goaltender would have to go through the ballot this year to go to Laval. I don’t think the risk of losing him for free is his #1 plan.

Primeau has two years left on his three-year contract. He earns an average of $890,000 a year and will be a restricted free agent when his contract expires in 24 months.

We know that teams don’t normally like to take a contract longer than one year at the ballot box… but at such a low price, who knows?

In bursts

– Lions must sign players.

– Notice to interested parties.

– Interesting.

– Will the Maple Leafs end up trading William Nylander? [BPM Sports]

– Things are going well in Atlanta.

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