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Jake Allen: no offers because of salary cap

Right now, Jake Allen really seems to be too much for Montreal. With Samuel Montembeault emerging as a true #1 goaltender and Cayden Primeau playing good hockey in front of his team’s net, a veteran like Allen (who plays ordinary hockey at best) doesn’t seem to have a place with the Habs.

And I say this with all due respect for Allen, who’s had some good times in town and is probably better than his numbers suggest. But right now, if he could leave, it would put everyone in the right chair.

In fact, when you look at the state of goaltending across the league, you’d think teams would be interested in picking up another keeper. Yet, months into the season, Kent Hughes has still not been able to pass him on to another club.

Why not? Martin Biron has an idea.

In fact, according to Biron, the Habs are simply unable to get offers for their goaltender because his salary is too high and too many clubs don’t have enough room under the salary cap to absorb $3.85 million a year with Allen’s pact.

Because even if a team that got its hands on Allen between now and the end of the season would only have to pay a proportion of his salary (based on the number of days he would spend with his new organization), the goaltender is also under contract for 2024-25. This would mean a cap hit of $3.85 million for next season as well, which is not easy for an aspiring team to absorb.

And at the same time, Allen isn’t playing up to his salary either. That complicates things, too.

The good news for Kent Hughes is that other players in his organization should be easier to trade. On Insider Trading, Darren Dreger says Monahan is a target for many teams looking for depth at center… and Dreger notes that Monahan could be one of the first players traded in the NHL.

Dreger recalls that the Habs told Monahan last summer that they would trade him to a team when the time was right (read: when he wasn’t injured), and obviously, the deal still stands.

And a guy like David Savard could also attract the interest of many clubs, as he plays big hockey and lives up to his contract of $3.5 million a year until the end of next season.

Stu Cowan would be surprised if Savard didn’t bring the Habs a first-round pick if he had to trade him, plain and simple.

So we’ll see what Kent Hughes’ plan is for March 8, but while Allen could be complicated to trade despite needs in front of net across the league, guys like Monahan and Savard seem to be of interest to various NHL clubs.

It’ll be interesting to follow.

In brief

– Long absences for Trevor Zegras and Pavel Mintyukov.

– The Blackhawks are in the news again for a legal matter.

– To be continued.

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