So much for Jake Allen taking back the starter’s role in St. Louis.
The Montreal Canadiens have acquired the veteran goaltender and his full $4.35 million salary for next season, along with a seventh-round selection in 2022, from the Blues in the exchange for picks in the third and seventh rounds in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Most efficiently deployed in a platoon, historically, Allen will slide in behind the NHL’s current highest-paid netminder, Carey Price, forming a goaltending tandem that will earn just shy of $15 million next season — or roughly a whopping 18 percent of the salary cap.
On one hand, Carey Price played 81% of the @CanadiensMTL games last season and his backups posted a .889 save %.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 2, 2020
On the other, the Habs now have $14.835 million in cap space dedicated to two goaltenders.
Allen had strong numbers last season in his intermittent spells of Jordan Binnington, the breakout star from the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, posting a .927 save percentage in 24 appearances and finishing with a 12-6-3 record. He made three starts for the struggling Binnington in the Blues’ first-round exit at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks, winning twice before losing hold of the crease with a loss in Game 5.
While interesting from the perspective of the Canadiens, who clearly want to better support Price after a brilliant postseason showing inside the bubble, this is likely a move with more significant implications for St. Louis.
Trading Allen could free up more than $3 million on the salary cap depending on who the Blues tap as a replacement, which could make up the difference in their efforts to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo, who is on the cusp of reaching unrestricted free agency.
It’s not believed that Pietrangelo and the Blues are close on a deal as of yet, but shedding Allen will most certainly help the two parties inch closer to an agreement — if that is indeed what each side is looking to accomplish.
More NHL coverage on Yahoo Sports