From an organizational standpoint, few areas are more concerning for the Montreal Canadiens than their current goaltending situation.
With Carey Price all but retired, only Samuel Montembeault, Jake Allen, Cayden Primeau and Jakub Dobes are eligible to play in the NHL, which means the team is one injury away from not being able to fill the four goaltending positions available with the Canadiens and their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rocket.
Despite having the option to sign two goaltending prospects, Frederik Dichow and Joe Vrebetic, it seems like neither will be receiving a contract offer anytime soon.
According to Guillaume Lefrancois, the Canadiens have already decided Dichow is not part of their plans moving forward. Dichow must be signed by the June 1st deadline, or they will relinquish his rights.
Dichow spent the last two seasons playing for Frolunda in the SHL, serving as 35-year-old starter Lars Johansson’s backup goaltender.
And though he finished both seasons with a sub .900 save percentage, it’s only fair to say Dichow has shown flashes of brilliance when his team has depended on him most, as evidenced by his .917 save percentage during the Champions League HL.
He also sported a .911 save percentage serving as Denmark’s starter at the World Championship.
It’s rather difficult to get a read on goaltenders playing in Europe, and there’s no doubt Dichow is yet to take a significant step forward in his development, but given the lack of signed goaltenders in the organization, the decision does come as a surprise.
Lefrancois also reported that Joe Vrebetic, the other goaltender that was due for a contract, will not receive an offer from the team.
Though in his case, it’s an obscure clause in the CBA that allows the team to maintain his rights until 2025 since the goaltending prospect signed a contract with the Laval Rocket at just 19 years old. Vrebetic’s agent cleared up the issue with Canadiens management earlier this week.
Given how few goaltenders now remain in the organization, adding a player like Quebec Remparts goaltender William Rousseau to the organizational prospect pool has become a much more enticing idea.