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Canadiens Rethinking Idea of Trading a Goaltender

The Montreal Canadiens may have changed their minds about trading one of their three goaltenders before the trade deadline.

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Kent Hughes is navigating a goaltending logjam, opting to retain three goalies for evaluation rather than making an immediate move. He told reporters this week that despite constant trade rumors, it’s not clear who long he’ll hang onto all three netminders. That’s interesting consider he’s got Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault, and Cayden Primeau all on the NHL roster and there’s a need in the market from teams looking for goaltending help. Are the Canadiens about to rethink their goaltender trade deadline approach?

Insiders have been talking about a trade for months now. The Canadiens were the top team being talked about as a seller to help buyers out. Still, Hughes wouldn’t confirm a goaltender trade at this point. He noted, “We decided to keep three goalies and evaluate the potential trades from there.” Montreal Hockey Now’s Marc Dumont cites the GM who added, “The plan was not to have three goalies all year. It’s still not the plan. But I can’t tell you 100% that we’ll make a goaltender trade.”

Kent Hughes Canadiens GM

Reports earlier linked multiple teams to the Canadiens, including the Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils. One has to wonder if the comments being made by Hughes is a way to stir up interest or combat what might have been lowball offers.

Montembeault, having signed a three-year extension in December, has taken the lead in starts. He’s likely not going anywhere. Primeau, the youngest in the trio, is signed for one more season. Allen, a veteran under contract until 2025, holds a modified no-trade clause. It is Allen that most insiders have circled as the likely trade option.

The Canadiens Will Be Sellers… Why The Sudden Goaltending Shift?

Currently placed sixth in the Atlantic Division with a 17-18-7 record, the Canadiens are at a crossroads, with Hughes carefully weighing trade options. It isn’t believed they’ll be a playoff contender, and even if they are, the likelihood of a long run is low. It doesn’t make sense to hold onto all three goalies unless the return being offered is next to nill.

The coming weeks may unveil the Canadiens’ strategic moves as they navigate a pivotal juncture in the season. Hang onto the three goalies, hoping a better deal comes along? Or, refuse to give up anything to pennies on the dollar?

Next: Senators Discussing Big Deal With Flames About Jakob Chychrun?

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