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Samuel Montembeault contract: Sean Monahan becomes the summer 2024 issue

This morning, the Montreal Canadiens announced what we’ve been waiting for: Samuel Montembeault’s contract. The goalie will not become a free agent in 2024, as originally planned.

At $3.15 million a year over three years, he accepted, in my eyes, a small discount to stay at home. That’s what he wanted (to stay with the Habs) and that’s what he got.

The Habs now have in their hands the man who would be the 36th-highest-paid goalie in the NHL this year – if his contract were to take effect immediately, which is not the case. It’s a good deal, then.

It also means one less file on Kent Hughes’ desk next off-season. So he can focus on other things.

And when you look at Cap Friendly’s summer list of expiring contracts, Montembeault was one of the most important.

Next year, if we look at all the team members who will need a contract, we realize that there aren’t that many uncompensated free agents (UFAs) – and not all of them as important as Montembeault, with all due respect for what the guys bring to the table.

  • Brady Keeper
  • Mitchell Stephens
  • Philippe Maillet
  • Chris Wideman
  • Tanner Pearson
  • Sean Monahan
The first three are Rocket players, and the fourth is an injured player who may not play this year. That leaves Tanner Pearson and Sean Monahan in the line-up.

Pearson was acquired as “collateral damage” to get Mike Hoffman out of Montreal. He’s not having a good season, and if the CH can trade him at the deadline, they will. If not, it’s no big deal and he’ll leave this summer.

The real issue of the summer (right now… since things are about to change) among the guys without a contract becomes, logically, Sean Monahan. Whether or not he’ll be traded between now and March 8, 2024 is an important question for Montreal over the next few months.

And it’s the only real issue. Because among restricted free agents, there’s no Cole Caufield file like there was last year, at the time of writing. There are two files that are more important than the others, but that aren’t complex either.

  • Arber Xhekaj
  • Justin Barron
  • Jesse Ylönen
  • Mattias Norlinder
  • Gustav Lindstrom
  • Nathan Légaré
  • Lias Andersson
  • Nicolas Beaudin

Looking ahead to the 2024-2025 season (and beyond the current lineup), the CH has 12 forwards under contract in addition to six defensemen and four goaltenders – including Carey Price. There’s also 37.5% of Jeff Petry’s contract on the chopping block.

But the good news is that Karl Alzner and Joel Edmundson will be leaving the cap.

New contracts, including RFAs and potential deferred bonuses, will have to be added in due course. But at the moment, with Carey Price, the CH will have about eight million dollars’ worth of new business. Price’s $10.5 million will have to be removed in due course… and Kent Hughes will have even more latitude.

There are still seven months to go before everything changes, but Kent Hughes will have plenty of time to have fun.

In a gust

– It’s snack time.

– Monty will make a lot of money in the first year of his deal.

– Simon Nemec recalled?

– Obviously.

– Too expensive for them, in my opinion.

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