Home run by Kent Hughes after a mistake: the GM learns fast, and it's good news for the Montreal Canadiens

Published December 5, 2023 at 9:52 PM
BY DAVID ST-JEAN

In recent weeks, several journalists and observers have identified what could be Kent Hughes' worst mistake so far, namely Jake Allen's contract extension.

It is true that a second goaltender earning $3.85 million can be expensive per game, but in his defense, there was no indication that Samuel Montembeault would become as good at the time of signing number 34.

Now, the Canadiens are stuck with this contract, and it will be difficult to trade without salary retention.

On the flip side, Hughes signed Montembeault for 3 years at $3.15 million per season, which is a real steal. The way he plays, Monty clearly deserves the title of number one, even being one of the best goaltenders in the league at 5-on-5, with an efficiency rate approaching .950.


"From the way he played yesterday, Montembeault's signing seems to be a bargain.

Samuel Montembeault has gone from a good backup goalie a year ago to performances resembling a good starting goalie. Obviously, his progression is not over."

- Renaud Lavoie

The fact is that in his 6 wins this season, Samuel has been one of the reasons for the victories each time, making key saves at crucial moments. Monday night's game against the Kraken is no exception to that.

Here are other goaltenders who can be compared to Monty in terms of age and contract. It stands out, as number 35 has an average of 2.66 and a save percentage of .913.

Filip Gustavsson earns $3.75 million per year. (0.891 efficiency)

Vitek Vanecek earns $3.4 million per year. (0.879 efficiency)

Karel Vejmelka earns $2.7 million per year. (0.892 efficiency)

Stuart Skinner earns $2.6 million per year. (0.881 efficiency)


Note that aside from Vejmelka, all these goaltenders play for teams perceived to make the playoffs, thus more competitive than the Canadiens. It speaks volumes about the performances of the Canadiens' goaltender.

POLL
December 5   |   284 answers
Home run by Kent Hughes after a mistake: the GM learns fast, and it's good news for the Montreal Canadiens

Samuel Montembeault will lead the Canadiens to the playoffs in 2024-25.

True15353.9 %
False13146.1 %
LIST OF POLL
Latest 10 stories