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Samuel Montembeault has no right to an ugly start to the season

With the Habs coming into training camp with four goalies (Samuel Montembeault, Jake Allen, Casey DeSmith and Cayden Primeau) with NHL contracts in hand, it’s easy to get lost in the speculation.

Everyone has an opinion on what should happen, after all.

The general consensus, having said that, is that Samuel Montembeault will get the #1 job ahead of Jake Allen. Casey DeSmith will leave (via the ballot or, ideally, a trade) and Cayde Primeau will go to Laval after being submitted to the ballot.

Because yes, it’s possible that the CH will ballot two goalies, as GM Kent Hughes said yesterday morning.

So I don’t know who will start in which chair exactly, since that plan can change 1,000 times between now and the start of the season. An injury in camp could open the door to an outsider.

But if there’s one thing that shouldn’t change, it’s that Samuel Montembeault will want to prove he can be a #1 goalie in the NHL… and that the Habs will give him the chance to prove it.

The cherub said it at 5 to 7 yesterday: he’s managed to prove he can be an NHL goalie, but the guy who did well last year (with the Habs and with Canada afterwards) needs to prove he can be a good NHL goalie.

Can he do it? He certainly can. But he’s got to .

If he doesn’t, there will be candidates to share the work with him. That’s one of the reasons why the Quebecer needs a good start to the season.

But there’s also the reason for his contract.

In a year’s time, Samuel Montembeault will be an unrestricted free agent. He currently earns a million dollars a year and has always made it clear that he wants to sign a contract as soon as possible to put down roots in Montreal.

But Kent Hughes is in no hurry to sign him. After all, with four goalkeepers in contention, there’s no hurry.

But in reality, there’s more: if Samuel Montembeault doesn’t get off to a good start this season with the title of #1 goaltender, this will affect negotiations between Kent Hughes and Monty’s agent. It just makes sense.

That’s why the goalie needs to have a big camp and a good start to the season: to give himself a chance to prove he can take the club to the next level.

Do I think he can do it? Yes. But he’s got to do it anyway. #Pressure

And if he does, he’ll have the means to sign a nice contract for the future. The Habs will want to keep him and will have to give him a contract that will ensure his old age.

In gusto

– Is Aaron Rodgers’ season over?

– Interesting.

– CH DG likes the direction his club is headed. [RDS]

– A new captain in Winnipeg.

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