HabsWorld.net -- 

While it has taken a while, the three-goalie rotation in Montreal has come to an end as the Habs have traded Jake Allen to New Jersey for a conditional 2025 third-round pick.  The selection can upgrade to a second-round pick if Allen plays in 40 regular season games in 2024-25 whichever team Allen is on at the time makes the playoffs.

Allen was acquired back in 2020 when Marc Bergevin wanted to bring in a quality experienced option behind Carey Price.  With Price hardly playing after that point during the regular season (aside from the 2021 Stanley Cup run), that move wound up making sense.

Allen signed a two-year extension early last season where he was expected to battle Samuel Montembeault for the number one job.  Failing that, a platoon also could have been in the cards.

However, Montembeault has pushed himself into the starting role in part with his own performance and in part with Allen’s struggles.  The 33-year-old has a 3.65 GAA in 21 games this season, the worst mark of his career.  Meanwhile, his save percentage sits at just .892, one point better than last season which was the lowest of his career.

That certainly didn’t help matters on the trade front with Montreal having to retain half of Allen’s contract for the remainder of this season and next to facilitate the swap, meaning he’ll stay on the books at $1.925 million.

This means the Canadiens have used all three of their salary retention slots, two of which now run through next season (Jeff Petry being the other).  That will make it harder to make a trade happen next season when the likes of David Savard, Christian Dvorak, and Joel Armia are all on expiring contracts.  However, it gives them an opportunity to give Montembeault and Cayden Primeau more playing time and a chance at a decent draft pick down the road.  Clearly, GM Kent Hughes felt that was worth it to make the swap now.

On the draft front, the Habs now have a dozen selections for 2025 and now have three picks in the third round and nine in the first four.  If Allen reaches the games played threshold, Montreal would then have three second-round selections.