The Montreal Canadiens and Al Montoya have come to terms on a one year contract worth $950 thousand. The deal comes off of a season where first-year goalie Mike Condon was thrust into a starting role due to an injury to Carey Price. While Condon played well to start the season, his inexperience, and the vigorous workload caught up to him over time.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 1, 2016
The Montreal Canadiens saw that having a franchise goaltender with no depth at the position wasn’t the best strategy last year. While Price is arguably the best goalie in the entire NHL, he’s still human and went down with an injury last season which kept him out for most of the year. Montoya is a proven backup goaltender, and he will be more reliable in that role behind Price next season than Condon was.
Last season with the Florida Panthers, Montoya posted a 12-7-2 record to go along with a 2.18 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. If Price is healthy, Montoya will likely be used sparingly. If Price happens to go down with another injury, which seems to be the trend with the elite goaltender who has missed time in every season since being drafted, then Montoya is a very solid insurance policy.
The Canadiens made a very good depth signing with Montoya which came in at under $1 million. Those kind of signings are never bad, especially given the fact that the contract runs through the 2016-17 season, but not beyond. After one year, the two parties can re-evaluate, and the Canadiens can determine if Mike Condon or Charlie Lindgren are better suited for back-up roles once again, or if they want to finally call-up top goalie prospect Zachary Fucale.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.