Montreal Canadiens: Predicting Habs Final Cuts At Each Position

Sep 25, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Logan Mailloux (94) skates during warmups before the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Logan Mailloux (94) skates during warmups before the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 25, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Sam Montembeault. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Sam Montembeault. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

Goaltenders

How many goaltenders are still left at camp? 3. How many need to be cut? 1.

Who is still on the roster? Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau.

There is a big difference between what I would do in this situation and what I think is going to happen. Jake Allen is going nowhere and will be here as the team’s mentor and veteran leader in goal.

A year ago, it was clear the plan was to have Allen mentoring Cayden Primeau during the 2023-24 season. Primeau signed a three year contract extension last October that kicked in right away. It was a one-way contract so he made good money to play last season in the AHL, but clearly the plan was to have him in the NHL this season.

Allen also signed a contract around the same time as Primeau, just over a year ago. He had one year left on his previous contract at that time so his two year deal begins now. The plan at that time sure seemed to be Primeau and Allen sharing the net this season.

Then Montembeault played 40 games last season and posted a 3.42 GAA with a .901 SV%. Now, he seems to have the inside track on the starter’s role, which changes the team’s original plan. This means Primeau is likely to hit waivers at some point as the Habs try to sneak him back to the minors for one more season of development.

That is my prediction of what will happen, though I would be looking to move Montembeault for a small return instead of risking losing Primeau for nothing. Montembeault had some great games last season, but will be 27 soon and has played 103 career NHL games with a 3.49 GAA and an .896 SV%.

Primeau is three years younger as he just turned 24 and has shown some promise at the AHL level when given a chance to play. He has not shown to be brilliant at the NHL level yet, but he was also not given much of a chance to this point in his career.

I’d gamble on the younger goalie and hope he can develop under Allen’s wing, but I fully expect Primeau to be put on waivers and either claimed by the Chicago Blackhawks or sent to the Laval Rocket.