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Oilers Acquire Goaltender Al Montoya From Canadiens

Conditional 2018 fourth round pick sent to Montreal for backup netminder

Montreal Canadiens v Winnipeg Jets

This trade is about fifteen games too late. Actually, it’s about 41 games too late, but I like to feel good about things now and again. The good part? It’s for an NHL player who can step in and help immediately if called upon. I’ve had enough magic beans to last me a career.

The Edmonton Oilers swung a deal last night to acquire goaltender Al Montoya from the Canadiens for a fourth rounder in this year’s upcoming draft. Immediately this should push Laurent Brossoit back to the AHL after he had an extended role filling in for Cam Talbot.

The conditional fourth becomes a fifth rounder if Al Montoya plays less than seven games between now and the end of the season.

Is this a good deal for the Oilers? In a word, yeah.

Let’s take a look at some numbers.

Like the Oilers in the West, The Canadiens aren’t having a very good season over in the East. Rumours about Max Pacioretty have surfaced, so dealing their backup netminder isn’t some wacky idea from Mars. Montoya has a lifetime .908 SV% in 159 NHL games, which isn’t terrible. His current season SV% of .863 in four games isn’t much to write home about, but if he works it back near his career average, he’s just fine in a backup role. Check that box off.

Montoya comes with a cap hit of just a touch over 1MM (1.0625), and that’s not bad at all. He’s signed through 2018-19 with that number, so unless the Oilers have Jonas Gustavsson version 2.0 walking through the door, it’s a good bet that you’ll see him on this roster next year as well. That’s another box that can be checked off, as there was some questions about Brossoit should Talbot miss any extended time. Brossoit has played 13 games so far this season, far more than anyone would have expected based on last year’s totals.

One big concern I have is that Montoya is coming off a concussion. He hasn’t seen game action in over two months. Montoya’s last action hasn’t been since November 4th, a win over the Jets. The good news? Montoya’s healthy chomping at the bit to get back on the ice. Prior to the deal, he was practicing again with the Canadiens, which suggests that game action isn’t too far down the line.

I’m not sure how much ice he’ll see behind a healthy Cam Talbot, but a healthy Al Montoya is a good enough insurance policy should Talbot need a night off or more. This is a good deal for the Oilers, even if it’s a few months too late.