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Samuel Montembeault: let’s not dismiss his presence at the 2026 Olympics too quickly

Jordan Binnington, Carter Hart, Darcy Kuemper, Cam Talbot, Logan Thompson, Adin Hill, Stuart Skinner, Tristan Jarry, Marc-André Fleury, Devon Levi…

When I think of the best goalkeepers of Canadian origin right now, these names come to mind. And I sincerely think we can put Samuel Montembeault’s name to the discussion.

The goalkeeper, who is coming off a fine season in Montreal, wowed the gallery at the last World Championship. He proved to be Canada’s best player at the tournament, finishing with a goals-against average of 1.42 and a save percentage of .939% (in seven games).

If Monty continues to develop at the rate he is right now, he could quickly become one of the NHL’s best at his position.

He may never be a top-10 goalie in the big leagues, but the signs he’s shown since arriving in Montreal suggest he has great potential.

And if that scenario comes to fruition between now and 2026, the year the Winter Olympics will be held (in Milan)… I don’t think we should rule out his presence on the Canadian team too quickly.

Alexandre Pratt raised the idea in a recent article (La Presse):

Alexandre Pratt underlines this perfectly in his text. It’s true that 2026 is still a long way off…

But it’s going to happen faster than we think.

Obviously, there will be some interesting candidates when the Canadian line-up is put together… But by 2026, a number of Canadian goalkeepers will have retired, and that could make Montembeault’s task easier.

The Quebecer may not yet be one of Canada’s elite goalkeepers, but he surpassed them in the number of goals saved last season :

(Credit: La Presse)

Looking at the complete stats for (Canadian-born) goalkeepers, Montembeault ranks (roughly) 10th in every category…

But let’s not discount the fact that he was playing for one of the NHL’s worst clubs and worst defenses in 2022-2023.

If I had to build the club today, the Quebecer wouldn’t be on my roster. I think I’d give Adin Hill a chance, since he’s just won the Stanley Cup… And if I had to trust two other goaltenders, I’d probably choose Marc-André Fleury and Jordan Binnington, because they have experience.

Between now and the next Olympic Games, however, everything can change. From injuries to the development of the young Canadian goalkeepers we know (Hart, Levi, Thompson and so on)… You get my point.

And then again, it all depends on Montembeault too. He’ll have to keep up the momentum if he really wants to carve out a position with the Canadian team.

It won’t be easy… But the goal, in my eyes, is more than attainable for the man entering the final year of his contract and hoping to extend his deal with the CH soon.

In gossip

– That gives us a little more room to manoeuvre.

– Good point.

– I’ve always had a crush on Caroline Woznoacki. It’s great to see her back in the game after such a long time.

– I know one person who won’t make any friends in Argentina.

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