4 Big Questions for the Montreal Canadiens in 2020-2021

Jesperi Kotkaniemi #15 of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Jesperi Kotkaniemi #15 of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Carey Price (31)
Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

2. Is $15 million in goaltending worth it?

Carey Price has been the most consistent thing going for the Canadiens over the past decade. Price was drafted fifth overall in 2005 by Montreal, has been an All-Star six times, and in the 2014-2015 season was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award, the Vezina Trophy, and the William M. Jennings Trophy. In 2014-2015, Price was not only the best goalie in the NHL but the best player as well.

Maybe the best goalie in the NHL is worth an eight-year $84 million contract, but Price is now 33-years-old and not the clear-cut best in the NHL. The 13-year vet is a top-ten goalie for sure, and arguably more like top-five. Either way, his services are costing the Habs $10 million a season.

One would assume that Carey Price’s backup goalie would be a carousel of borderline NHL level goaltenders. If for no other reason than salary cap management. Well, Montreal had money to spend this offseason and traded for former St. Louis Blues starting goalie, Jake Allen.

Jake Allen (34)
Goaltender Jake Allen #34 of the St. Louis Blues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Allen has had seven years of NHL experience and has racked up 148 career wins with a .913% save percentage. We cannot forget the grace he showed when rookie sensation Jordan Binnington took the starting job from him in the 2018-2019 season and then led the Blues to a Stanley Cup ring.

The Canadiens are now spending $4.3 million on a backup goalie, and a monstrous $14.8 million overall on goaltending on the NHL roster (not including a Taxi Squad goalie). Is that going to pay off?

Worst case, Carey Price and the Canadiens will start the season with the confidence that Jake Allen will usually put them in position to win a game. Best case, Allen provides a winning record when in the net and provides the Montreal Canadiens the opportunity to keep Price well-rested in a season that will regularly have four games a week.