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Filip Gustavsson’s contract: a preview of Samuel Montembeault’s next deal

When Marc Bergevin called for Samuel Montembeault in the balloting almost two years ago, he didn’t know it yet, but he got a guy who was going to play a lot of field hockey in Montreal. In the last two seasons, the Quebecer has played no less than 78 games in town.

Not bad for a guy who was supposed to be a temporary solution while waiting for Carey Price.

And by being solid enough in front of his net, Montembeault has become a guy the CH absolutely wants to keep. His current two-year pact (at $1 million a year) will expire at the end of the coming season, but Kent Hughes has every intention of getting him to sign an extension before then.

The question is, what will his next contract look like? And in my eyes, the pact Filip Gustavsson signed with the Wild yesterday is a solid barometer.

The goaltender has signed a contract that will pay him $3.75M per year for the next three campaigns. He has very little NHL experience (66 games), but is coming off an exceptional season in 2022-23 (2.10 goals-against average and 0.931 save percentage in 39 games).

Montembeault’s case is a little different in that he never had Gustavsson’s big season last year. In fact, his best season came last year with a 3.42 goals-against average and 0.901 save percentage in 40 outings.

But the reality is that Monty is a guy with a little more NHL experience, with 103 games under his belt. What’s more, part of the difference in numbers can be explained by the difference in defensive quality between the two goaltenders.

The CH is counting on some fine young defenders, but right now, I’d take the Wild’s squad 10 times out of 10 before the CH’s. That may not explain all the difference. That may not explain all the difference in numbers, but it does explain a good part of it, in my opinion.

Do I think Montembeault will necessarily earn $11.25 million over three years like his Wild counterpart? Not necessarily, no. We know he really wants to stay in Montreal, and I think there’s a way for him and the CH to come to an agreement for a little less money.

I think the gap between the two goalies’ numbers, as well as Montembeault’s desire to stay in town, will make a three-year pact for a salary somewhere between $2.5M and $3M per year realistic.

And even if that were to rise to $3.25 million a season, I’d have no problem giving the Quebec goalie such a pact. He’s really happy in Montreal, and as we saw at the World Championship, he’s capable of performing well when supported by a good defensive brigade.

Jake Allen earns $3.85 million and isn’t necessarily of Montembeault’s calibre. At least, he wasn’t last year.

In short, it’s something to keep an eye on, but given that Kent Hughes said he’d make Montembeault’s contract his priority after signing his restricted free agents, it’s safe to assume that this will be the hot topic in Montreal in August. Because Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, Alex Newhook and Jesse Ylönen are all now under contract.

In a row

– Speaking of Quebec goalies.

– Josh Ho-Sang is thinking about retirement.

– I think he did. The question is whether Montreal would pass markets like Vegas and Seattle.

– The Angels continue to be active at this MLB trade deadline.

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