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Montreal Canadiens Should Target Carter Hart

Carey Price had been the Montreal Canadiens answer between the pipes for over a decade. As such, it’s been a long time since the team has had any question marks in the net.  However, with Price’s apparent career-ending injury woes, the Canadiens need a new starting netminder. Insert Carter Hart. The 24-year-old Flyers netminder is rumored to be on the block and the Canadiens could be the perfect fit.

Why Carter Hart is a Good Fit for the Canadiens

Canadiens Current Goaltending Situation

Jake Allen has been filling that role for the past two years but the Habs need a goalie for the future. Allen’s services have sufficed during these rebuilding years as he has managed some respectable seasons on a basement-dwelling Canadiens team. However, he will be 32 by the time next season rolls around and therefore doesn’t fit the timeline of the Canadiens future.

Samuel Montembeault on the other hand has been a massive bright spot for the team this season. His 0.905 save percentage and 3.28 GAA won’t blow you out of the water by any means. However, Montembeault has had some strong starts this season for the Habs. He’s 26 years old and is theoretically entering his prime years.  Montembeault is unproven though, especially in the starting role. He is set to be an RFA next offseason, so he will have another year to prove himself. Nonetheless, at the very least he makes for an intriguing backup option for the team moving forward.

What Hart brings to the Canadiens

With the Philadelphia Flyers set to head into a rebuild, that leaves Carter Hart on the trading block. Hart should be an intriguing option for the Canadiens for several reasons. First and foremost, Hart has all the tools to be an elite starter at the NHL level. Hart has had a rough couple of seasons in Philly after an outstanding rookie year, but Hart is worth taking a chance on. At only 24 years old, Hart still has lots of room for growth and could benefit from a change of scenery. Not to mention Hart comes in at an affordable 3.9 million for next season before he becomes an RFA.

Not only does Hart fit the timeline of the Canadiens, but having him as a controlled asset after next season makes him an intriguing get for Kent Hughes. Having Hart and Montembeault as a tandem moving forward would be ideal. Two young goalies, both with affordable contacts. Hart has more starting goaltender upside but Monty has upside as well and can be at minimum an affordable backup to Hart.

What would it take to acquire Carter Hart?

Carter Hart will be an attractive option for many teams, but few have the assets at their disposal that the Canadiens do. The Habs have managed to amass a plethora of prospects and picks and will only add to that further this summer. The Flyers won’t be giving away an asset like Hart, but at the same time, he still has a lot to prove as a starter and can’t command a king’s ransom in return. The Flyers asking price likely begins with a first-round pick and a solid prospect. There’s no chance the Canadiens will give up their first two picks in this draft but Calgary’s 2025 first-round pick could be a good starting point.

With prospects like Joshua Roy, Filip Mesar, Owen Beck, and Sean Farrell in the system, a guy like Riley Kidney also becomes expendable. Kidney has had an impressive couple of seasons in the CHL since being drafted in 2021 and could be an intriguing choice. On the defensive side, the Habs are even more fortunate as they have one of the best young defensive groups in the NHL. Guys like Jayden Struble, Mattias Norlinder, and Gianni Fairbrother are all way down the pecking order in the habs defensive system. A chance on a new team could help them realize their potential.

Would a similar package to a first-rounder, Riley Kidney, and Jayden Struble be enough to land the Canadiens Carter Hart? If not, the Canadiens have many mid-round picks and other prospects to sweeten the deal. And if that is all it takes to acquire Hart from the Flyers, Hughes would be wise to pull the trigger. Not often in the NHL is there an opportunity to acquire young, potentially elite goaltenders via trade.

Main Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


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