Montreal Canadiens Rumour: Could Three Goalie Experiment End Before Holiday Freeze?

Dec 10, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen
Dec 10, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens are one of a handful of teams that are carrying three goaltenders on their NHL roster.

This is just not a great situation for goaltenders who all want to play more often. The breakdown so far has seen Sam Montembeault appear in 15 games, while Jake Allen has been in 12 and Cayden Primeau has played just six times in the Canadiens first 30 games.

A 24 year old goaltender needs to do more than play every fifth game if he is going to develop and get closer to his potential ceiling. It appears possible that a fix could be on the horizon.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet did his weekly Saturday Headlines segment last night and spoke about the goaltending market that is changing quickly. A couple of contending teams have a new need for a goaltender, and Friedman made it seem like some trades could be coming in the near future.

He spoke about the Carolina Hurricanes putting veteran Antti Raanta on waivers and they could be looking to add someone as soon as today. The Los Angeles Kings, another Stanley Cup contender, lost Pheonix Copley to injury and will not have him available for a couple of weeks. Friedman said it was possible they could look to the trade market to fill that role.

The Sportsnet Insider mentioned the Canadiens as a team with too many goaltenders as a possible trade partner for both of these teams since they have an extra goaltender. Another name he throws out there is Spencer Martin of the Columbus Blue Jackets who has some of the worst numbers in the league this season.

If teams are seriously interested in Martin's 3.57 GAA and .892 SV%, then Jake Allen's 3.58 GAA and .901 SV% must be intriguing. It seems like these two contenders are ready to deal and there are not many options out there on the open market.

That plays into the Canadiens favour as the Hurricanes have clearly seen enough from Raanta who is on waivers. With Frederik Andersen unlikely to return due to injuries, Allen to the Hurricanes makes sense.

The Kings could use a short term solution and maybe that is Primeau. Copley was struggling before his injury and it woudl make sense to swap Primeau for a goaltender that is eligible to be sent to the minors like Erik Portillo who also had a great college career and is playing for the Kings farm team.

It will be interesting to see what happens on the goalie market before the holiday roster freeze on December 19th. One thing is certain and that is the Canadiens will be in the middle of it all.