A year ago, Samuel Montembeault was just getting through his first full NHL season, one that didn’t go all that well with the Canadiens finishing dead last. As a result, he didn’t have much leverage in contract talks, ultimately signing a two-year, $2MM deal, one that takes him straight to UFA eligibility in 2024. Now, following an improved campaign and a strong showing at the World Championship last month, his trajectory is on the upswing. The 26-year-old is eligible to sign a contract extension as of July 1st and speaking with reporters earlier this week (video link), GM Kent Hughes indicated that he’s open to trying to work out a new deal quickly with his netminder. Montembeault posted a 3.42 GAA with a .901 SV% in 40 games this season so his next contract shouldn’t break the bank but he has positioned himself to at least double his $1MM AAV whenever he signs his next deal.
More from Montreal:
- Among the ongoing Carter Hart trade speculation, there have been suggestions that the Canadiens could be interested in acquiring the 24-year-old but Marc-Antoine Godin and Arpon Basu of The Athletic report (subscription link) that this is not the case. Instead, it appears they’ll retain their tandem from this season with veteran Jake Allen joining Montembeault while prospect Cayden Primeau will also jockey for playing time as he is now waiver-eligible.
- In his latest podcast (video link), Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets and TSN notes that there have been discussions about the possibility of Montreal bringing back center Sean Monahan next season. The Canadiens picked up a future first-round pick to take on his contract from Calgary back in August and the 28-year-old did fairly well early in the season, picking up 17 points in 25 games before a variety of injuries ended his season. Monahan is eligible to sign a contract with performance bonuses this summer as long as it’s a one-year agreement and if he’s willing to do so, he could garner some interest from cap-strapped teams looking for short-term help as well.
- Olivier Galipeau will remain with Montreal’s farm team next season as their affiliate in Laval announced that they’ve signed the defenseman to a one-year, one-way AHL contract. The 26-year-old started the season in the ECHL and was quite productive with 15 points in 19 games before being recalled for the rest of the year to Laval where he put up nine points in 45 contests.