Canadiens: The Time To Trade Jake Allen Is Now

The Canadiens Have Yet to Solve the Goalie Situation in Montreal, But Opportunity Appears to be Knocking

Seattle Kraken v Montreal Canadiens
Seattle Kraken v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens began the season with three goalies in the NHL, a less-than-ideal situation. 26 games later, and it is still yet to be solved. They did, however, lock up one of those three goalies, signing Samuel Montembeault to a three-year extension. You would think that might’ve gotten the ball rolling on a solution, and yet, here we are.

With the extension of Montembeault, it leaves one of Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau as the odd man out. There was some thought that once the Canadiens could extend Montembeault, they could feel better about potentially losing Primeau on waivers, something they considered likely if they tried to send him down.

But the Canadiens have not made such a move yet, suggesting that they still think they’ll lose Primeau, and they don’t want to entertain that. This leaves Jake Allen, a goalie with tons of NHL experience both in the regular season and the playoffs. Surely, if the Canadiens want to move him, there would be buyers, right? After all, there are several goalie-needy teams in the league right now.

The Hurricanes and Oilers have been getting nothing from the position, and the Kraken and Sabres have both reportedly reached out to the Canadiens about acquiring a goalie. That feels like an opportunity to pounce, and it’s crucial the Habs do. We’ve been talking about this goalie situation for quite some time now, wondering when the Canadiens were going to figure it out.

Well, opportunity is knocking. The Habs better answer the door. I’d assume teams would still be more interested in Allen, assuming Montembeault is off the table after signing his extension. The worry, of course, is Allen’s numbers, which are… not great. Allen has a 3.74 GAA and a .898 SV%, which on paper are ugly.

But the Canadiens have not played particularly well in front of him, which can make those numbers look a little uglier than they actually are. Allen’s GSAx this season at five-on-five is 0.4, which is essentially average goaltending. For some talented teams, like Edmonton, that might just be enough.

Of course, Allen has struggled a little as of late, letting in some real stinkers, but perhaps a change of scenery, with a more realistic chance to compete for the playoffs, will help. As would going to a place with only two goalies, which Allen has not been afraid to say, is far more ideal for him.

There is still a sense of perhaps waiting too long to move Allen for me. But that’s assuming there were any discussions ever occurring in the first place. At this point, if the Canadiens do trade Allen, I wouldn’t expect much of a return. Unless, of course, teams are just that desperate, which could certainly be the case. Carolina, in particular, seems to be playing well defensively but is just not getting any goaltending to help them out.

We will have to wait and see what the Canadiens do, but in my opinion, they need to strike while the iron is hot, and it might be scorching right now. There’s an opportunity here, it’d be best to not let it go to waste. Even for a low compensation, I think it makes sense to move Allen. When he’s on his game, he’s a very good goaltender.