5 insurance policy goaltenders the Canadiens can add this offseason

The Montreal Canadiens have a pair of goaltenders who could fuse a solid tandem in 2024-25, but they should still consider signing a No. 3 netminder.
Montreal Canadiens v Buffalo Sabres
Montreal Canadiens v Buffalo Sabres / Kevin Hoffman/GettyImages
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The Montreal Canadiens shouldn’t be in the market for a goaltender this offseason, but that only applies to starter Sam Montembeault and the backup Cayden Primeau. Instead, a No. 3 goaltender, or an “insurance policy,” is something they do need.

Montembeault was excellent this season, even if his basic numbers don’t show it. He logged just a 0.903 save percentage, a 3.14 GAA, and zero shutouts, but look at the improvement he made compared prior to his age-27 season. A GAA of 3.49 and a save percentage of just 0.896 before 2023-24 should indicate how far he’s come, and even more impressive is the fact he’s seen time in 38-plus games for three straight seasons, further suggesting he can be a 1A.

Cayden Primeau was also good when called upon, and there is a chance he can cut further into Montembeault’s playing time. Primeau just completed his age-24 season, registering a 0.910 save percentage, a 2.99 GAA, two shutouts, and just over two goals allowed than expected at even strength. 

Canadiens have good goaltenders, but they need insurance

Just because the Habs need a third goaltender, it doesn’t mean they will go through another three-goaltender rotation as they did for most of 2023-24 when Jake Allen was in town. But it never hurts to have one seasoned veteran in the AHL, waiting for a recall if injuries strike. 

They do have Jakub Dobes with the Laval Rocket, and he won’t become a free agent until next season. But Dobes will just be 23 years old in 2024-25, and he has just 51 games of experience at the professional level. 

If general manager Kent Hughes wanted someone with more experience to serve as “insurance” for his top two goaltenders in Montreal, he would be better off rolling with a veteran who wouldn’t mind floating between the NHL and the AHL.