1705347500 Mid season review of Kent Hughes I want Sam to commit

Mid-season review of Kent Hughes: “I want Sam to commit to becoming the best goalkeeper he can be”

If Kent Hughes doesn't find a buyer for Jake Allen by the March 8 trade deadline, the Canadian will end the season with three goalies. This was confirmed by the Habs general manager during his midseason review.

• Also read – Mid-season review of Kent Hughes: “We won’t deviate from our plan”

“Do we want all three goalkeepers to play? Yes. They are all good goalkeepers. “It's not up to us to decide who gets sent in front of the net, but we've made it clear that we want all three goalkeepers to play,” Hughes said.

In short, Martin St-Louis and Éric Raymond, the Habs' goalkeeping coach, do not have complete freedom when it comes to deciding the identity of the starting goalkeeper.

Mid season review of Kent Hughes I want Sam to commit

Photo agency QMI, JOEL LEMAY

However, it seems clear that Samuel Montembeault is now the starting goalie. He played in five of the team's last seven games. However, St-Louis hesitates to label him that way when he is told about the masked man from Bécancour.

A way of doing things that his partner seems completely satisfied with.

“I don't want to give anyone a title because I want Sam to try every day to become the best goalkeeper he can be. The way they're playing him right now shows they have faith in Sam. He plays more often than the others.

1705347496 7 Mid season review of Kent Hughes I want Sam to commit

Photo Martin Chevalier

Primeau is ready for the challenge

Behind him is Cayden Primeau, who seems to be gaining in confidence. We might not have predicted it at the start of the season when things seemed to be blowing up in his face so quickly. According to Hughes, this is one of the advantages of keeping three goalkeepers on the team.

“If we had known that Primeau would grant exemptions, we would have sent him to Laval. We didn't do it because we were sure another team would take him. This gave us the opportunity to see him more often in the NHL. We realized he was up for the challenge,” Hughes said.

“On the other hand, it was not the plan to have three goalkeepers throughout the season,” he added.

However, there was no shortage of problems in front of the NHL nets. Andrei Vasilevskiy missed the first month and a half of the Lightning season, Jack Campbell was sent back to the Oilers farm club.

There was a massacre in Carolina. Frederick Andersen has been on the sidelines since early November and Antti Raanta has been invited to tour the American League. The same goes for Akira Schmid in New Jersey and his teammate Vitek Vanecek, who is struggling.

Nevertheless, Allen is still in Montreal. This happens if the goalie you want to trade makes $3.85 million per season through July 1, 2025 and the majority of teams are against the cap.