The Montreal Canadiens have made a trade to acquire goaltender Jake Allen from the St. Louis Blues. The Canadiens will also receive a seventh-round pick in the 2022 Draft in exchange for a third and seventh-rounder for 2020. Elliotte Friedman and the team reported the official deal late Wednesday morning.
Jake Allen to Montreal https://t.co/W9GE7G0nit
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 2, 2020
Canadiens Acquire Jake Allen
Allen was a serviceable backup for the Blues this year. He played in only 24 games but posted a .927 save percentage and 2.15 goals-against-average. Those figures are the best of Allen’s career in the fewest games. St. Louis relied heavily on Jordan Binnington in 2019-20 but Allen displayed great poise when he made it into games. Allen was also a significantly better postseason goaltender. He had a .935 save percentage and 1.89 goals-against compared to Binnington’s .851 and 4.72, respectively.
The Blues originally drafted Allen in the second round of the 2008 Draft. The 30-year-old debuted in 2012-13 and has over 280 NHL games of experience. Allen’s career numbers feature a .913 save percentage and 2.50 goals-against. The only goaltender with more games and better numbers from the same draft is Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals. Allen will take that experience and production to an improving Montreal team for 2020-21. He will be a free agent after next season.
What This Means For the Future
Allen carries a cap hit of $4.35 million for next year but he represents an immediate upgrade for the backup goaltender position. The Canadiens used a handful of backups behind veteran Carey Price but none of them were very good. Allen’s presence means Montreal can let Keith Kinkaid walk in free agency. Cayden Primeau and Charlie Lindgren are the likely options behind Allen who will start next year in the AHL.
This move also creates significant space for St. Louis to re-sign two of their key pending free agents. They would have had a difficult time bringing back both Alex Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn with Allen’s salary on the books but this gives them more flexibility to do just that. However, it does create a hole at backup goaltender. The team might look for a cheap veteran in free agency or decide it’s time for Ville Husso to debut.
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