Do Canadiens Need To Add Veteran Goalie To Organization?

Sep 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Jakub Dobes
Sep 30, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Jakub Dobes / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens have been dealing with a three-headed goaltending monster at the NHL level all season. This is not an ideal situation as there just aren't enough games to keep everyone busy and happy.

The problem is, Cayden Primeau, who has only played a handful of games this season, requires waivers for the first time in his career and is unlikely to pass through in order to be assigned to the AHL's Laval Rocket.

Samuel Montembeault, who was a pending unrestricted free agent, recently signed a three year contract extension with a cap hit just north of $3 million. So, he is not going anywhere, and Primeau won't be either as the team is clearly not interested in gambling on putting him on waivers and possibly losing him to another team for nothing.

Jake Allen is a trusted veteran who is signed through next season with a cap hit of $3.85 million. A rebuilding team should be leaning a little heavier on younger players to see what they can bring to the table and if they are long term solutions, but moving Allen at that cap hit would prove difficult as well.

So, the team is trying to find a way to shed one of their goaltenders from the NHL team. Somewhat ironically, they also could use some help in goal at the AHL level.

The Laval Rocket played the Belleville Senators last night and just over five minutes into the game they were trailing 2-0. This is a common occurence for the Rocket as they always seem to fall behind the 8-ball before trying to scramble back into games. Their goaltending is simply not good enough.

Jakub Dobes has been splitting starts with Strauss Mann in Laval and both are young netminders that had successful college hockey careers. The 22 year old has a 4.51 GAA and a .864 SV% in 12 games. Entering last night's contest, Mann had also played 12 games and had a 3.27 GAA with a .891 SV%. It is hard to win games when you keep letting in four per night.

It would appear a short stint in the ECHL to get his confidence back would be great for Dobes. Mann hasn't proven enough to be a number one guy at the AHL level, so the team really does need a veteran pro to try and help the Rocket win some games. They are currently in the basement of the North Division and will have trouble climbing out if they don't start getting saves. Looking to the ECHL for help won't work as Joe Vrbetic is posting numbers similar to Dobes and Mann down there.

It is starting to look like signing a veteran who can help the AHL team like Michael Hutchinson would actually make sense.

It would be fantastic if Primeau were allowed to report to the Rocket and play the bulk of their games for the foreseeable future. Not only would it give the AHL team reliable netminding but it would also clear up the logjam at the NHL level.

However, Primeau is not eligible to do that, but it could result in him being traded for someone who can. Perhaps he gets shipped to the Chicago Blackhawks for Arvid Soderblom who is struggling at the NHL level after showing promise in the AHL or someone else who fits a similar profile.

At this point, with the NHL team desperate to end the three goalie system and the AHL team desperate for saves, a trade that kills those two birds with one stone would make a lot of sense for the organization.