We can scratch Jake Allen off the list of potential trade candidates by the Habs this season as the team announced on Saturday that they’ve signed him to a two-year contract extension. The deal will carry a cap hit of $3.85 million and does carry a partial no-trade clause.
The 32-year-old has spent the last two seasons with Montreal in a much different role than he anticipated when he joined the Canadiens. He was supposed to be the veteran second option behind Carey Price but with Price’s injury troubles, he has effectively become their starter. With Price already out for the upcoming season (and likely longer), this extension certainly factors in that Allen will be getting the bulk of the workload for the foreseeable future.
Allen’s numbers weren’t spectacular by any measure last season – a 3.30 GAA and a .905 SV% – but that’s not entirely surprising considering how much the team as a whole struggled. Those numbers were also considerably better than what Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau were able to put up.
While the Habs have some promising goalie prospects, most of them are years away from being NHL-ready and none of them exactly project to be a starter of the future. Primeau, who signed a three-year deal not long ago, is still part of Montreal’s future plans, it’s likely as a backup, not a starter which meant Allen needed to be extended or replaced for next season. This move buys GM Kent Hughes some time to find a longer-term solution between the pipes while ensuring that the Canadiens will have competent goaltending as they navigate through their rebuild.