Jake Allen Moved To New Jersey

Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens
Buffalo Sabres v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Montreal Canadiens trio of goaltenders has finally been cut down to a duo, according to Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman.

Friedman reports that veteran goaltender Jake Allen is headed to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a conditional third-round pick. The Canadiens retained 50% of Allen's salary, and the condition is based on a specific threshold of games. Given the market and the price that some players have gone for, Kent Hughes extracted a reasonable return for Allen.

The return is less important than the playing time the trade opens up for Cayden Primeau and Samuel Montembeault. This has been something that's lingered for far too long, especially considering the amount of teams who need quality goaltending for their playoff push. Allen has the chops and his Stanley Cup ring will be huge for the Devils.

With Allen out, Monty and Primeau will split the starts, which will be huge for the latter's development. Furthermore, the return that Hughes secured is proof of how important his former player agent acumen is. The deal maxes out the Habs retention slots, so it seems likely that the Canadiens are done dealing, at least until this summer.

The 33-year-old spent parts of four season in La Belle Province, suiting up for 127 games. He accumulated a respectable 41-68-15 record to go along with three shutouts. He will likely be a backup for the Devils, but he gives the club a goalie with some playoff experience.

Although the Canadiens failed to make the playoffs during Allen's time with the club, he always carried himself like a consummate pro. Beloved in the locker room, and on the bench, Allen will be missed, but the likelihood of the Canadiens being competitive before he retires is unlikely. The Devils core is ready to compete, and it made the most sense to give Allen another chance for a cup.

As reported by Sportsnet's Eric Engels, the condition of the pick is based upon Allen playing 40 games. That is 40 games between this season and next, and the Devils need to make the playoffs. So it's more likely that Hughes got a third-round pick for a goalie who was riding the pine or sitting in the press box.

Allen reportedly knew that the Devils had an interest in his services for some time, according to TSN's Kenzie Lalonde. The oldest goaltender in the system before the Allen acquisition was 28-year-old Vitek Vanecek. Akira Schmid and Nico Daws are both 23 years old, so they filled a need for a solid backup and brought some experience to the group.

The Devils are getting a good one, and the impression he left on the Canadiens, and presumably their goaltending room is immense.