Jake Allen returning to the Montreal Canadiens lineup just days before the NHL Trade Deadline could have a significant effect on the goalie market. The veteran goaltender was tasked with holding down the fort for an injured Carey Price and his return will have a few teams interested in seeing if he’s in good form leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline.
“There’s got to be interest in Jake Allen on the trade front,” said TSN Insider Darren Dreger on the Montreal Hockey Now Podcast last week. “Given the resume, the history of Jake Allen, any of these middling teams like Toronto or Edmonton, teams that don’t have the Cap space to go big game hunting[could be interested]. You can kick tires all day on Marc-André Fleury, that’s just managers doing their due diligence, but Jake Allen would make sense to me.”
Allen could potentially move due to the improved performances of Samuel Montembeault, who has been able to keep the Montreal Canadiens afloat during Allen’s absence, increasing his value in the eyes of management. Montembeault’s play makes Allen expendable for the right price, and the Canadiens would do well to explore this avenue right now, especially if Carey Price is aiming for a return in April.
Allen coming back just in the nick of time to play a few games could encourage teams requiring goaltending help to seek out Allen, who will most likely cost them less than the reported price of a 1st round pick for Fleury. According to our friends at Puckpedia, Allen has one year left on his contract, valued at $2.875M annually, after this season and would be far easier to fit under a tight Salary Cap structure at this junction of the season than Fleury. The extra year on his contract makes Allen even more intriguing to prospective teams, as they’d have control over Allen beyond just this playoff run.
So far this season, Jake Allen has performed admirably for the Montreal Canadiens, posting a 5-16-2 record on an underachieving Canadiens team with a 3.15 GAA and .901 save percentage. His experience in the playoffs and ability to perform admirably in one of the most pressure-filled markets in hockey will make him a player to watch leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21.