By JD Lagrange – Carey Price’s health issues have left the Canadiens scrambling in net for years to come… and it doesn’t appear that there is a solution coming anytime soon. Jake Allen was brought in by Marc Bergevin to be Price’s back up goaltender. He’s now the starter. Samuel Montembeault was picked off waivers and is doing okay. But he’s unlikely to be the solution long term. Cayden Primeau is taking his sweet time to develop and other goaltenders in the organization haven’t even turned pro yet… at least not in North America.
The situation in net for the Canadiens is a position of weakness. This is why it is so important for Kent Hughes and the Canadiens to find a solution and find one quickly. As the team is showing great progress with the young players drafted and acquired via trades since the 2018 Reset, the team won’t be able to take the next step without a suitable keeper.
Changes in Philadelphia
As Daniel Briere has taken over as interim General Manager for the Philadelphia Flyers, changes are coming. They always are after a new GM takes over. Briere himself hinted that while there wouldn’t be a wholesale change over, some key changes will be happening in the off-season.
Jeff Marek addressed concerns about Carter Hart’s future with the Flyers, given the emergence of goaltender Samuel Ersson. If they’re going to go through a rebuild, Marek wondered what Hart could fetch on the trade market and if the 24-year-old netminder wants to spend the best seasons of his career with a rebuilding Flyers.
Hart has one more year left to his contract, carrying a cap hit of $3.98 million. He then become a RFA with arbitration rights.
Why not the Habs?
The Flyers want to rebuild on the run and there are many reasons why the Canadiens would be a great trade partner with them.
- The Habs’ cupboards are stacked with quality prospects, having drafted about 50 players since Marc Bergevin’s 2018 Reset, and 11 more in the upcoming NHL Draft. You can only sign so many…
- Hart has an affordable cap hit for next season and has yet to have a great season to justify a huge pay raise
- Standing at 6-foot 2-inches, he has good size
- He’s only 24 years of age, so close to coming into his own
- He grew up idolizing Carey Price, who is still under contract. Perhaps Price could help him out a bit?
My personal observation of Hart is that he is very mobile and athletic. He covers the bottom of the net very well. When he gets into trouble, it’s often because he tends to drop on his knees too quickly and doesn’t make himself big enough when in a butterfly position. A good goalie coach will get him to stand tall on his knees instead of crouching forward. Everything else, he has, including the talent to be a good franchise goalie.
Of all the names that have been thrown out there for potential young goaltenders for Canadiens’ trade targets, Carter Hart would be, by far, my favourite. My second favourite would be Flames’ prospect Dustin Wolf.