By JD Lagrange – When Canadiens’ GM Kent Hughes announced that Carey Price was unlikely to play this upcoming season, it created a chain reaction. Fans, who suffered from PTSD from the traumatic last season, had a feeling of déjà-vu, and started thinking of Connor Bedard. Management got thinking about extending Jake Allen, which they rapidly did. And for two goaltenders in the organization, it gave them hope for their NHL dream, and the Habs’ brass got hoping that at least one of them was ready to step up their game.
Samuel Montembeault (25) and Cayden Primeau (23) both signed contract extensions earlier in the off-season. “Monty” was extended for two years, with a cap hit of $1 million per season. Later, “Prime” also signed but for three more seasons, a contract coming with a cap hit of $890,000. Both young men’s contracts are one-way, meaning that they will touch the same amount whether they play in the NHL or in the AHL.
We have a problem
The issue? So far in pre-season, neither Montembeault nor Primeau seem to want the job. Non-sense, will you say! True. They want the job, of course they do. However, none of them is stepping up to the plate to show management and the coaching staff that they are ready to provide solid, consistent goaltending at this level.
If you’re the Canadiens, it’s a serious problem. “Oh but we want to tank, to lose games“, fans will say. Newsbreak: That’s not how a successful organization thinks and certainly not what Geoff Molson, Jeff Gorton, Kent Hughes, Martin St-Louis and his staff, and certainly not how the players think. That’s a fans’ way of thinking.
The Canadiens are 0-5-1 and they only have two pre-seasons games remaining, both against the Ottawa Senators, at the hands of which they have already lost two games so far. If one of the two young men isn’t willing and ready to take that job offered on a silver platter, then perhaps the Canadiens will have to look outside to fill that need.
The Canadiens have first dib at any waiver claims up until October 30th included. Starting on November 1st, it will go based on this year’s standings. The team also has a surplus of forwards which they would like to unload, so an affordable trade isn’t out of the question.