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“It’s definitely my number one choice” -Samuel Montembeault

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Samuel Montembeault is currently unaware of the Montreal Canadiens’ plans for him.

Met on Thursday during the Champions Classic at the Victoriaville Golf Club, of which he was honorary president, the Bécancour goalkeeper informed that his desire has not changed. He wishes to remain with the organization that was calling him about the waivers on October 2 and which he had to rely on for much of the season in the absence of his veteran tandem. Watch the interview with Samuel Montembeault in the video, above.

“It’s my wish,” he repeated. I really enjoyed Montreal despite it all and if I have the chance to return, it’s sure to be my number one choice.

In the absence of Carey Price and Jake Allen, Montembeault rendered CH proud services, making 38 appearances, including 30 as a starter, for a record of 8-18-6. The 25-year-old goalkeeper’s deal will expire in the coming weeks and as we prepare for the Habs top draft, the Quebecer is patient.

“I don’t have many expectations, because I haven’t had a lot of news, he informed. The repechage will be in Montreal and my agent will be there. I know he will communicate with Kent (Hughes) at that time and they will meet.

The qualifying offer period will fall after the draft, as the 32 clubs on the circuit will have until July 11 to retain the rights of their free agents for consideration.

“That’s really when I should have more news. As I said, I haven’t had any news so far … “

Ready soon

On a sunny day in Victoriaville, Montembeault chatted with the golfers for a while, but was unable to participate in the tournament due to his recovery after surgery on his right wrist to repair an injury that has been tormenting him since January.

“I saw my doctor (Dr. Robert Hotchkiss) in New York last week and he had nothing but good news,” she said. I no longer need to wear the splint. I begin to train a little more.

“If it were in season, I would start skating again and be back at 100 percent in two weeks with no problems. Two weeks to rehabilitation.

Montembeault admits that the pain has bothered him in the defense of the net, especially in the most laborious saves, but says he has received the necessary care to avoid ending up in the infirmary in the long run.

“At the beginning it was really bad, the first few games, but we kept it under control by always putting duct tape and we did a lot of physio.”

Photo credit: Photo Martin Chevalier

Difficult situation in front of the net

Towards the end of the season, coach Martin St-Louis praised Montembeault’s work under difficult circumstances.

He has shown that he is capable of playing in the National League. He has increased his value as a goalkeeper. He took the opportunity. It wasn’t always easy and he kept fighting. I take off his hat, “he said.

Sure, the Montembeault field is looking for a number 2 goalkeeper spot, but it will all depend on Price’s future in the NHL. We do not know for the moment if he will be able to continue his career, whether in Montreal or elsewhere.

Is the 2005 draft darling still the undisputed CH goalkeeper? If not, does Allen become the number one contender? We will find out in the coming weeks.

Photo credit: Martin Chevalier / JdeM

Learn from Carey Price

When he chose the waivers, Montembeault didn’t know what Price was going through. Towards the end of the season, the Bill-Masterton Trophy winner was certainly an inspiration to his teammates.

“In the locker room, Carey isn’t the person who talks the most. For her teammates, I think she is more of a silent leader who will set an example in her actions.

“His preparation has been super good and even in training he always puts in a lot of effort. For me, just looking at him, he is ready for any throw. He is a good example for me. “

Price only appeared in five games of the most recent campaign. Number 31 first joined the NHL aid program, then knee inflammation delayed his comeback at least twice.

During this time, Montembeault learned to behave as a starting goalkeeper. He believes he has gained invaluable experience in the absence of the hidden Canadiens star.

“I have played a lot of games. Much more than I thought, she admits. I’m really happy. I took a lot of experience and learned a lot.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve also had a great time. I can use this experience next year and will know what to expect if I ever become a number again.

Good words for Primeau

As the Canadiens’ season was ending, Laval Rocket’s continued into the Calder Cup playoffs. Montembeault was even seen at Place Bell to encourage the troops of his first junior coach, Jean-François Houle.

He was also able to observe the skill of the young Cayden Primeau, who distinguished himself after a difficult season with the big club.

“I was happy for the whole team. Cayden was really excellent during the playoffs. I am happy for him. He is a good guy and he deserves it. “

Although impressed with the youngster’s performance, Montembeault doesn’t think Primeau’s success in the American League East final is a surprise.

While many have questioned the potential, even the 22-year-old’s development after his unsuccessful spell (1-7-1) with Bleu-blanc-rouge in the regular season, Bécancourois don’t believe it’s just necessary to stick to the stats.

“I wasn’t worried even if he had a hard time with CH this year, he says. You see him in training. He’s so good technically, so I wasn’t surprised to see him perform like he did in the playoffs. “

(Main photo credit: Denis Morin)

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