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This summer, the Devils will be working hard to get a big goalie in front of Jake Allen.
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
As you probably know, the New Jersey Devils have acquired Jake Allen from Montreal. In return, the Habs got a third-round pick in 2025 who could become a second-rounder.

The condition? If Jake Allen plays 40 games in 2024-2025 and the Devils make the playoffs.

It’s safe to assume, the way Jake Allen’s career is going, that he won’t necessarily play 40 games next year. And with all due respect to the guy, you have to figure that if Allen is a 40-game goalie next year, I don’t think it’s going to be great for the Devils’ playoff aspirations…

New Jersey knows what it’s getting: a #2 goalie. Martin Brodeur, who knows Allen from his years in St. Louis, confirmed it yesterday to Jean-Charles Lajoie (TVA Sports): at this point in his career, Allen is a #2.

What’s interesting is that the Devils, who have a surplus of goaltenders in the organization, haven’t been held back by Allen’s ordinary performances in 2023-2024. I don’t know if Brodeur says this publicly so as not to spit on his goalie or because he thinks so, but…

The former Devils legend says that Allen had to be convinced to waive his no-trade clause (he was reluctant because of his family), but that Kent Hughes had to be convinced to withhold salary. That’s why it took so long.

And why was it necessary to withhold 50% of Allen’s salary, who earns $3.85 million per season for another 16 months?

We couldn’t afford it [to go after Allen at full price] with the plan we have for next year. We want to get another goalie in the summer.

We needed to retain Jake’s salary. – Martin Brodeur

Because yes, the Devils’ plan is in two stages. The first was to bring Allen to town to finish the year and stabilize the situation a bit in front of the club’s net.

Everyone knows that, in Montreal, his leadership took the club to the next level.

But the second step? Ensure that this summer, the club is in a position to do what it hasn’t been able to do all season: secure the services of an excellent goaltender.

It’s worth remembering that the Devils tried to get their hands on Jacob Markstrom, without success. It was close, obviously, but it didn’t happen before the deadline.

Clearly, New Jersey will be back in the hunt this summer. And as Renaud Lavoie points out in his Journal de Montréal column, Linus Ullmark is another name to keep an eye on.

And clearly, the Devils will be aggressive.

All things considered, it’s highly likely that one of these two goaltenders [Markstrom or Ullmark] will be traded to the Devils next summer. – Renaud Lavoie

But if we return to the present, we note that Jake Allen could (again according to Lavoie) play his first game with his new team on Saturday, against the Coyotes. Nothing is set in stone yet, though.

The fact that he doesn’t yet have a work visa works against him. He’s expected in the next few days.

And while we’re on the subject of Allen, Renaud Lavoie says that the Habs might have considered sending the goaltender to the AHL next year, had they failed to pass on him in the last few days.

That’s something Kent Hughes refused to do this season. Why should next year be any different? Because time can change things, I suppose. A year of ménage à trois is intense.

But above all, the TVA Sports journalist believes that this summer, it would have been difficult to trade Allen. If the goaltending market was slow during the season, this summer will undoubtedly be different.

So, while the Habs had no choice but to make a move now (and withhold salary in the process, of course), the goalie didn’t have much choice in accepting a trade either.

In gusto

– Good listening.

– Great news.

– Perfect news.

– Trevor Zegras is getting better.

– He’s back.

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