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Jake Allen must be wondering if he’ll play his next game with the Canadiens

At the moment, the Habs have four active goalies on NHL contracts who can’t go to Laval without a ballot: Jake Allen, Casey DeSmith, Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau.

What’s in store for each guy? Carey Price… ah well, never mind: I’ll talk about the active players.

  • Jake Allen has a two-year contract at $3.85 million per year. He’s a big brother to Samuel Montembeault and never wanted to leave the CH (the club never really wanted him to leave either in the past), but his performances are declining.
  • Casey DeSmith earns $1.8M for one more year. He has no idea what lies ahead, and is anxious about where he and his wife (who is about to give birth – if she hasn’t already) will be living in 2023-2024.
  • Samuel Montembeault ($1 million and UFA in one year) appears to be the club’s #1 goalie, but we have no word on his contract negotiations – if they are taking place.
  • Cayden Primeau is the club’s #4 goaltender, and all signs point to him being on the chopping block. He is expected to play with Jakub Dobes in Laval.

To get goalies out of the running for the two (or three?) regular roster spots, Kent Hughes has a few options. He can either ballot a guy (which he won’t do for anyone other than Cayden Primeau), he could use the injured list…

Or, of course, he could make a trade.

Moving to another team remains the most likely scenario. And we all agree that, if Cayden Primeau is destined to go to the ballot, trading him wouldn’t change the goaltending surplus problem.

Kent Hughes said yesterday thathe asked Casey DeSmith for patience because the goaltending market is dead. But the GM also told him that it was possible that he would be the one to stay.

So if Primeau isn’t one of the club’s two goalkeepers and Samuel Montembeault is, it’s safe to assume that Casey DeSmith and Jake Allen are in danger. Unless we go with three goalies, which I honestly don’t think is possible.

I have a feeling that Jake Allen is the ideal candidate for Samuel Montembeault. After all, the Maritime native won’t whine about his playing time, he wants to be here and his contract is harder to trade.

I always thought that if the Habs had to trade Jake Allen (who the boys really like), the first thing they’d do is try to find a new Jake Allen. Can DeSmith be the new Allen? The guys are basically different.

If the CH keeps DeSmith, it’ll give the GM more bang for his buck, but perhaps cohabitation with Montembeault could be a little more difficult than the Quebecer’s with Allen. Who knows?

It’s also possible that the CH would like to see how Montembeault reacts with another assistant. It’s not impossible.

However, the fact that the CH still has two years left on Allen’s contract is reassuring to me. Are you ready to potentially see Montembeault and DeSmith leave in a year’s time after trading Allen?

Because his contract isn’t attractive elsewhere, but his best value is in Montreal, I think I’d keep Allen, who has a partial no-trade clause with seven teams this year. That said, if an offer is on the GM’s table, we’ll have to evaluate it.

And in light of Kent Hughes’ comments to Casey DeSmith, we shouldn’t rule anything out: he may be the one who belongs in town. Maybe Jake Allen needs to think about the fact that he may have one foot in the door.

In bursts

– Russian gas sounds painful.

– Things are bad in the Bronx.

– It’s been a long time since fights were a problem in the Q. [BPM Sports]

– David Krejci will have had a huge impact on the Bruins.

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