Jan 25: Primeau has been loaned back to the AHL after only appearing in one game, a 20-minute relief appearance last week. Allen is ready to return to action.
Jan 9: The Montreal Canadiens have recalled Cayden Primeau under emergency conditions, announcing that he will back up Sam Montembeault this evening. Jake Allen is out on a day-to-day basis with an upper-body injury, despite playing all 60 minutes on Saturday.
Primeau, 23, is no stranger to the NHL. The young netminder has seen action in each of the last three seasons, playing a handful of games each year as the team dealt with goaltending injuries. Last year, in 12 appearances for Montreal, he posted an .868 save percentage and went 1-7-1. Overall, he has an .874 in 18 NHL games.
Unfortunately, things haven’t been going much better at the minor league level this season. Primeau has an .890 in 13 games with the Laval Rocket, which would easily be the worst of his career should it continue. Despite being drafted in the seventh round in 2017, he became a top goaltending prospect for the organization after two incredible seasons at Northeastern University.
Development has slowed since then, but the organization still has plenty of faith in him. Primeau signed a three-year one-way contract in September that carries an average annual value of $890K. The back-loaded deal will be paying him $1.1MM by the 2024-25 season when the team hoped he would be the full-time backup (at least). Even if this is just a short stint while Allen recovers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Canadiens give Primeau a chance to play, given their investment in him.
It should be noted every time the Canadiens suffer an injury at the position, that they do not have another goaltender signed to an NHL contract. Primeau, Allen, Montembeault, and the injured Carey Price are the entire depth chart, meaning they’re just another minor injury or illness away from being forced to make an additional transaction of some sort.