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2024-2025: over $4M on the Habs’ payroll for Jake Allen and Jeff Petry
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Last summer, Kent Hughes was so desperate to get rid of Mike Hoffman that, after several transactions, he ended up withholding salary from Jeff Petry’s contract until 2025. He’s withholding 37.5% of his contract.

Today, Kent Hughes was so desperate to get rid of Jake Allen that he ended up withholding salary from his contract until 2025. He’s holding back 50% of his contract for the future.

In both cases, was it necessary? I think it was. It wasn’t necessary for the same reasons, because Jake Allen was obviously a good teammate. But it was necessary.

But it’s causing the Canadiens’ salary retention slots to melt like snow in the sun.

This year, the Habs have none left. A club is entitled to three at the same time, and since Joel Edmundson (whose contract ends this year) is on the salary retention list for 2023-2024, Kent Hughes can no longer do so this year.

Note that I was one of those who wanted to keep a spot for the draft… but that was because I thought the club wouldn’t be able to pass on Joel Armia or Jake Allen in March. But doing it now is even better.

But for next year, it means that there’s already only one position left. That was the price we had to pay to get a third pick – which can become a second pick if Jake Allen plays 40 games between now and the end of his contract – for Allen.

In fact, adding Jeff Petry’s $2.34375M on the cap and Jake Allen’s $1.925M, the Habs will retain $4.26875M in total for next year for both contracts.

Allen, whose interest from the Devils dates back some time, forces the Habs to have plenty of dead money for next year. But then again, it was the right thing to do to get the classy Allen out.

Good thing the cap will go up and Karl Alzner will leave the Habs’ books (buyout) this summer. After all, with Allen, Petry and performance bonuses for the club’s young players, there’s going to be dead money galore.

And that’s not counting Josh Anderson and Brendan Gallagher, among others. That’s a lot of cash not to score.

It’s worth noting that the Habs can still help teams, but not by withholding part of a player’s salary: they can do so by taking on an entire contract by 3pm.

But the most important thing is this: the ménage à trois is over. Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau have to show their stuff now. It’s back to their club… and possibly, if there’s an injury, to Jakub Dobes.

In a gust

– Things are moving.

– News from the waivers.

– Max Pacioretty in New York?

– To be continued.

– Toronto is on the move… but in baseball.

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