October 1, 2022
It’s a buzz phrase we’ve been using in relation to the Montreal Canadiens for 15 years, and it was born of having World Class Goaltender Carey Price in the ranks. This morning the Canadiens announced a contract extension for Jake Allen – a starter’s contract – that all but confirmed we have seen Carey in the net in Montreal for the last time.
The Habs signed Allen to a two-year extension worth $7.7M and carrying an annual average value of $3.85M. The deal confirms Allen as the starter for the next three years.
The price is right.
It’s a starter’s salary, but an average starter’s salary. Allen is entering the last year of a deal he signed with the expectation that he would back up Carey Price. That wasn’t his reality last year, and it won’t be for this. The two-year extension rewards Allen without overpaying, and without limiting the team’s options.
If at some point during this contract the Canadiens identify and/or obtain the future starter – and they will – Allen’s contract is not prohibitive. Should it become favourable to trade Allen between now and the end of the deal, the contract is moveable.
The term is right.
Allen was already under contract for this season. Perhaps we’ve all considered the possibility of selling him at the trade deadline, but let’s get real. Marc-Andre Fleury fetched a conditional second round pick. Allen was not going to bring in the haul that fans fantasized about. He’s worth more in Montreal than he is in a trade.
Two more years is just about right. The term is timed well with the rebuild and when the Habs can expect to grow into contenders again. It buys time for Kent Hughes to land the next starter. The term also gives Allen some certainty for his family. In his presser, Allen noted that home is New Brunswick and Montreal is close. He mentioned he will be 35 at the end of the contract, and has two young kids with another on the way. The term works for both parties.
The fit is right.
“I want to be part of this process. I really do.” That’s from Jake Allen. Servant leader extraordinaire.
I loved all of what Allen said about knowing where the Habs are in their process. When asked about the succession plan in net in Montreal, Allen’s answer was entirely above reproach. “I think everyone understands the team will groom someone, and I will hopefully be that groomer.” He said he would take pride in that role.
He wants to be a building block that starts the build, he said. That’s just about the perfect fit for the Habs right now.
There’s no doubt. The price is still right in Montreal.