According to TVA Sports reporter Anthony Martineau, the Montreal Canadiens are “open for business” when it comes to the goaltending situation.
Martineau explains that the team is currently listening to offers. And the Canadiens are giving the impression that they want to receive the greatest return for their assets.
As it stands, there are three goaltenders on the roster: Jake Allen, Samuel Montembeault, and newcomer Casey DeSmith, whose wife is on the brink of giving birth.
Montréal semble "ouvert aux affaires" dans le dossier de ses gardiens de but, vient-on également de me dire.
Le club n’aurait toujours pas tranché, écouterait attentivement et donnerait l’impression de chercher l’avenue la plus payante pour lui.
— Anthony Martineau (@Antho_Martineau) August 13, 2023
It’s not particularly shocking the Canadiens want to move a goaltender, however, we must temper our expectations when it comes to a possible return.
Montembeault (26), DeSmith (32), and Allen (34) aren’t considered top-flight goaltenders, and though Montembeault has shown he can put up decent numbers, he’s also far from an established starter in the NHL.
As for Allen and DeSmith, they have both been relegated to backup roles recently, which, again, does not garner much in terms of returns when it comes to trades.
Last season seven different goalies were involved in trades.
- The Colorado Avalanche acquired goaltender Keith Kinkaid from Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Shane Bowers
- The Vegas Golden Knights acquired goaltender Jonathan Quick from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for goaltender Michael Hutchinson and a 7th-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.
- The Arizona Coyotes traded forward Jakub Voracek, a 6th-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for goaltender Jon Gillies.
- The Los Angeles Kings acquire unsigned draft rights to goaltender Erik Portillo from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a 3rd-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
- The San Jose Sharks acquire goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 6th-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired defenseman Ivan Provorov from the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers received goaltender Cal Petersen, defensemen Sean Walker, a 1st-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, a 2nd-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft and a conditional 2nd-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. The Kings acquired defenseman Kevin Connauton, forward Hayden Hodgson and a portion of Ivan Provorov’s contract.
As you can see, the goaltender market in the NHL has always been rather tepid. The biggest return garnered from an NHL team last season when it comes to a goaltender trade was the third-round pick the Sabres received in exchange for NCAA standout Erik Portillo, who is 22 years old and yet to start his NHL career.
Given Montembeault, Allen, and DeSmith are far from being considered prospects if the Canadiens do manage to find a suitor for one of their goaltenders, there are very low odds that the return will amount to anything more than a very late draft pick or perhaps even future considerations. For the most part, goaltenders were given little to no value in trades.
Of course, Montembeault is the most interesting goaltender of the three due to his numbers last season, his younger age, and his very affordable contract which will only account for $1 million under the salary cap next season, but even those three factors may not be enough to lead to a healthy return for the Montreal Canadiens unless a team is desperate to bolster their goaltender depth and have very little cap space left to work with.