Trade: Blues clear cap space, send Jake Allen to Canadiens

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Jake Allen is on his way to Montreal after the St. Louis Blues and Montreal Canadiens announced the NHL’s second off-season trade in the last week.

The Blues are getting two 2020 draft picks in the trade — one in the third round, another in the seventh. St. Louis is also sending a 2022 seventh-rounder Montreal’s way with Allen.

“With the flat [salary] cap next year and probably moving forward, we wanted to create some space for this summer,” said Blues GM Doug Armstrong.

Allen was the Blues’ second-round pick in 2008 and he played 289 games over nine seasons with the team. He lost the starting job last season as Jordan Binnington helped lead St. Louis to the 2018-19 Stanley Cup. During the First Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, head coach Craig Berube went back to Allen for three games against the Canucks, helping them get back into their series.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

It’s been a while, but Allen is no stranger to Montreal having played parts of two seasons there in the QMJHL after being drafted.

For Montreal, this trade makes goaltending a very expensive area in the their lineup for 2020-21. Between Allen, who has one year left on his deal, Carey Price, and Charlie Lindgren, the Canadiens have over $15M in cap space tied up in goal. It will also allow Price to lessen his workload in-season to keep the 33-year-old fresh for potential postseason play.

As Armstrong continues to work out a plan to keep Alex Pietrangelo, this move clears $4.35M off their salary cap. Defenseman Vince Dunn will also need a new contract as a pending restricted free agent, but the captain obviously is atop the to-do list. Per CapFriendly, St. Louis now has a little over $75M committed for the 2020-21 season. The cap ceiling will be $81.5M next season.

“Obviously I don’t think we’ve made any secret that we’d love to get Alex signed,” said Armstrong. “I think Alex has made it know that he would like to sign here, so we’re going to have to work through that. At the end of the day, it’s a math equation.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.