Montreal Canadiens General Manager Kent Hughes
Photo credit: The Athletic

Kent Hughes Misses Major Opportunity: Crazy Turnaround on Waivers Will Mean Bad News for the Canadiens

Published January 1, 2024 at 12:00

A major news shook the NHL yesterday afternoon as the Toronto Maple Leafs officially placed goaltender Ilya Samsonov on waivers. Without a doubt, several general managers will surely be tempted to claim him, as he instantly becomes the best available goalie on the market.

This announcement could have a significant impact on the Montreal Canadiens, and more specifically on the goaltending trio in Montreal. Indeed, the 27-year-old netminder is likely to draw attention from several teams, which could interfere with the trade negotiations initiated by the CH's General Manager, Kent Hughes.

After all, some teams looking to solidify their goaltending tandem might potentially set aside the Jake Allen file to acquire the Leafs' goalie.

Imagine if the Canadiens had advanced discussions with a team about a trade involving the 33-year-old veteran, but that team ultimately decides to claim Samsonov, who is currently available for free.

Ouch! It would be disappointing if this announcement were to abort a transaction for the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge.

Last season's statistics for Jake Allen and Ilya Samsonov:

ˇ Jake Allen: Record of 15-24-3 | Goals Against Average of 3.55 | Save Percentage of 0.891

ˇ Ilya Samsonov: Record of 27-10-5 | Goals Against Average of 2.33 | Save Percentage of 0.919

Selected 22nd overall in 2015, Samsonov is much younger than Jake Allen and has a much higher potential. Additionally, his $3.55 million contract is more affordable, and he will become a free agent at the end of this season, unlike number 34 of the Canadiens who is also signed through 2024-2025.

Objectively, acquiring Ilya Samsonov (for free) makes more sense than paying to acquire Jake Allen. It will be very interesting to see if a team that was linked to the Montreal goalie changes its mind to add the number 35 of the Leafs to its lineup.

Do you think the Russian goalie will be claimed this afternoon?

Credit: Habs et LNH
January 1   |   361 answers
Kent Hughes Misses Major Opportunity: Crazy Turnaround on Waivers Will Mean Bad News for the Canadiens

Do you think Jake Allen will be traded by March 8th?

Yes31988.4 %
No4211.6 %
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