This is going to be a bit of a Habs dominated segment since I will be writing more about football and our Hot Sauce Fantasy Football League. Bergevin wasted no time throwing his hat in the Free Agency ring. With an unprecedented off-season and upcoming season ahead of us, the Habs got their guy before the circus rolls into town.
The acquisition of Jake Allen, piece for piece may be a bit confusing, and possibly infuriating for some Habs fans. The team now has close to $15M tied up in their goalies (18.4%) of the teams cap, and more importantly they let the Blues off the hook. St Louis is up against the cap with a couple key pieces left to sign, one of which was rumoured to be in Montreal’s sights. Taking a step back for a second and looking at the big picture as a whole there are a few scenarios where this trade has some merit.
Who remembers Marco Scandella? The guy the Canadiens traded a fourth round pick for, only to be shipped out not long after being acquired for double the investment (a fourth to a second, weird math but you get it). This trade appears to be a mirror situation where Bergevin has every opportunity to get a better pick for Allen if we retain part of his cap hit when traded (max 50%). Something that the Blue could not afford to do with their cap situation.
If this scenario were to come to fruition, Bergevin essentially gave up a third round pick (acquired from the Kovy trade) for a rental player who would give Carey a much needed break. It was apparent in the playoffs, a rested Carey Price is possibly to most dominant player in the league. He allowed 13 goals in the playoffs, seven of which were scored by his own team! Now if we take this a step further, the NHL plans to play a full 82 game season in a much smaller time window, which means a lot more back to backs, and three games in four nights. A backup goalie is a must, essential almost, because no goalie will be able to handle that work load.
The trade also cements Primeau into the third goalie role which means the crease in Laval should be his. Then at the deadline we turn around and flip him for more value than we invested in him. The final footnote on this trade, come expansion draft, every NHL team MUST expose a goalie to Seattle. Price has a No Movement Clause, Primeau is not eligible and both Lindgren and McNiven will be UFAs by then if we don’t extend them.
Now, this wouldn’t be Hot Sauce Sports if I didn’t give you a real Spicy Take, so here it is:
Bergevin acquired Jake Allen to flip him as part of a package for Gaudreau. Before you freak out at your screen, this is a HOT take, there have been zero rumblings of this, but I am reaching to connect the dots. The rumoured original trade was:
Max Domi + Ryan Poehling + 1st Rd Pick for Johnny Gaudreau
I’m sure this is what Calgary is asking for, but not a chance Bergevin makes this trade. Now if we can insert Jake Allen as opposed to the first round pick, the aforementioned trade starts to look a lot better for the Habs. This would obviously require a max cap retention (50%) but Calgary is in desperate need of a goalie or at least goaltending depth. The Flames starter in the playoffs, Talbot is an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) and the team only has 14 players signed (assuming Valimaki is on the roster) leaving them $16M for 10 players left to sign. This trade would net them a few additional roster players and provide them with additional cap relief. Even though the goalie carousel that is coming in the NHL this off-season is perfect for the Flames, they will probably be on the outside looking in a lot, since teams love to overspend on Free Agency Day.
Disclaimer, I still think that scenario one is the team’s actual path, but, the second is interesting to consider.
Here are a few topics of note in Habbyland!
If you are looking for your hockey fix during the NHL ‘off-season’ look no further than the Swedish Hockey League. Sweden has took a herd immunity approach to COVID so unless things go completely sideways I do not see them cancelling their league. This is either good or bad for Mattias Norlinder, the ever ascending Habs prospect. The third round pick in last year’s draft has been turning heads in Sweden, starting off the pre-season with a two goal game. The final piece of the Pacioretty trade is slowly becoming one of the bigger steals of the draft.
Max Domi created a stir when he took MTL out of his Social Media bios. He later put it back in, then fired his agent. What this means I have no idea, but the timultuous off-season for Domi has started and I am going to greatly miss him. I will continue to say that I think it is a mistake he is going to be gone, I wish he would play on the wing, but my big thing is that you don’t find guys who can handle the Montreal media often. It is a very underrated quality.
In a recent interview, Cole Caufield discussed his upcoming season and his future with the Habs. I want to focus on one part when he said (paraphrasing a bit) that he wants to play in the NCAA or AHL, he has no interest in going to the OHL. The reason being that he prefers to play against, older, bigger and more physically developed players. Essentially saying he wants to play against Men not Boys. I love this kid,
On a lighter note, this past Tuesday, Jonathan Drouin held his annual Charity Golf tournament benefiting the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) foundation. This was the third year he has held the tournament and it raised $500,000 this year. Not sure where this was mentioned by the Montreal sports media, but hey, at least they are all over the trade rumours because that supersedes this right?
That’s all for today folks! If you are a Fantasy Football fan, we are officially in the home stretch and don’t forgot to check out the Hot Sauce Fantasy Draft this Sunday. The league will be raising money for Charity, I myself have chosen to nominate All Access Life, a non-profit organization that looks to make our world a more accessible place for everyone. Quick side note, today is actually co-founder Brad’s birthday so big shout out to him today! Be sure to follow us all week for updates, rosters, and most importantly, trash talking!