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Casey DeSmith’s arrival will put (even) more pressure on Cayden Primeau

On this Sunday morning, far be it from me to think that the Habs would be involved in a MONSTER transaction. However, Elliotte Friedman confirmed just before noon that the third team involved in the Erik Karlsson deal was… the Habs.

This isn’t the first time Kent Hughes has been involved in a multi-team deal. At the last trade deadline, he acquired Nick Bonino momentarily and then traded him to the Penguins.

But today’s trade is far more significant. Firstly, Erik Karlsson and his huge contract have finally found a buyer (Pittsburgh) and secondly, Jeff Petry is – miraculously – back in Montreal.

But that’s not all. Casey DeSmith, a goalkeeper, has also been sent to the metropolis. And his arrival clearly won’t please young Cayden Primeau.

The youngster is already facing a lot of pressure, as he is eligible for the ballot. In 21 NHL games, the American has never proven he’s ready for the big league. The arrival of Casey DeSmith could put a lot more pressure on him. Keeping three goalies in a 23-player line-up is doable. It’s not ideal, but it could be done.

But keeping four is impossible. One or even two of the four (who aren’t named Samuel Montembeault or Jake Allen) will go through the ballot. The goalkeepers will have to give their all during training camp to show their worth. If they don’t, the ballot will be the option for them.

In the NHL, DeSmith is a solid goalie. Last year, he had a difficult season, but the four years before that, he had maintained more than respectable statistics. I can’t wait to see him perform with the CH, and I can’t wait to see if he can return to his 2021-2022 form.

We wonder if Jeff Petry will be traded before next season, but we have to ask the same question of one of the organization’s goaltenders. Giving up two goalies at the ballot box isn’t necessarily ideal, since it negates the depth we’ve just acquired through the Erik Karlsson deal.

As Eric Engels points out in this tweet above, it’s a real possibility that Kent Hughes will decide to keep three goalies in the NHL all season. You can never have enough depth in front of the net.

This could open the door to a deal involving Jake Allen, among others.

As for DeSmith, I’ve mentioned it before, but he’s got potential. At 31, it’s getting late for him, though, but maybe a stint in Montreal could revive his career. When the Penguins confirmed his departure on Twitter earlier today, I was reading the fan comments and most seemed disappointed in the goalie’s departure. Except for this user, who was obviously delighted.

The Rochester-born goalkeeper is out of contract for next season. In 2022-2023, he will be paid $1.8 million. After the season, he will become an unrestricted free agent, like Montembeault. DeSmith was the Americans’ starting goaltender at the last World Championship, and in seven games he maintained a 5-2 record, a .918 save percentage and a 1.95 goals-against average. In the right chair, he’s an excellent goalkeeper.

All in all, the deal that brought in all these good people (and we haven’t even talked about Nathan Légaré yet) is a W for the Habs. We’re getting rid of Mike Hoffman (finally), we’re bringing back my colleague Félix Forget’s favourite (Petry, who’s going to have to find a new number #Kovacevic) and we’re bringing in reinforcements in front of the cage, a crying need in the organization.

Since becoming the CH’s GM, Kent Hughes has never ceased to impress me.

In gusto

– Really?

– Listen to this.

– Babe is too strong.

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