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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The 33-year-old journeyman will return to Edmonton as Cam Talbot's primary backup in 2017-18. Montoya was traded to the Oilers midway through last season and finished with a 4-3-2 record, 3.21 GAA and .893 save percentage between the Canadian two clubs. The American netminder is expected to be under contract with the Oilers for at least one more season, and while the upcoming contract year could motivate Montoya to improve, interest in him will be confined to deep leagues or spot-start situations.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin learned an important lesson when Carey Price missed all but 12 games in 2015-16 with a knee injury: have an experienced NHL goalie ready in the event of an injury to one of the game’s best goalies. Montoya was brought in on a one-year deal and it didn't take long for the Habs to tack on another two years. He made 19 appearances, the fewest in a non-strike season since 2008-09, and turned in subpar ratios ( 2.67 GAA, .912 save percentage and two shutouts). Of course, his numbers could have been better had then-head coach Michel Therrien not left him in the cage for all 10 goals in a November game versus Columbus. Montreal goaltender coach Stephane Waite raised the possibility of Montoya getting into more games this coming season, but with a healthy Price, that could mean four or five more starts.
Recognizing a need for an established NHL backup, Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin signed Montoya to a one-year deal in the offseason. The Chicago native is coming off what arguably is his best season, having posted a 2.18 GAA and .919 save percentage in 25 games for the Panthers, who finished first in the Atlantic Division. Montreal will be the career backup’s fifth team in eight NHL seasons. He’s never started more than 26 games, which is about the upper limit of what he’ll get with the Canadiens if Carey Price remains healthy. Montoya will compete with the returning Mike Condon, who got exposed in 2015-16 when Price was lost for the season in late November. The veteran’s experience likely gives him an upper hand, and it doesn’t hurt that his career ratios are better than Condon’s.
Montoya never turned into the franchise goalie the Rangers thought he’d become when they spent the sixth overall pick on him back in 2004. That said, he’s put together a decent career as a backup with four different franchises. The 3.01 GAA and .892 save percentage Montoya posted last season with the Panthers doesn't play in most fantasy formats, though, and considering that the 30-year-old netminder will once again serve as the backup to Roberto Luongo, he's not likely to become a strong fantasy option.
Montoya signed a two-year deal with the Panthers to serve as the backup to Roberto Luongo. He had a solid season in that role with Winnipeg in 2013-14, posting a 2.30 goals against and .920 save percentage. He will get some competition from veteran Dan Ellis in camp, but it is Montoya's job to lose. He would see 20 starts or so if he wins the job.
Montoya started five games for the Jets last season, finishing with a 3-1-0 record and posting the team's only shutout of the season early in the year with a 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators. It's clear that Ondrej Pavelec will get the lion's share of the starts going into the upcoming season, but Montaya is a solid spot starter fantasy-wise when Pavelec gets a day off.
Montoya rotated in as part of a tripartite goaltending committee with the Islanders last season, posting a 9-11-5 record and .893 save percentage in 31 appearances. Though he is most likely to back up Ondrej Pavelec in 2012-2013, which could prove to be a position rich in ice-time should Pavelec's legal troubles take a turn for the worse in the coming months, the 27 year-old American is still a less than desirable fantasy option given Pavelec's presence on the squad.
Montoya was nothing short of a godsend for the Islanders last season, when the team acquired him from Phoenix. Originally thought of as a stopgap option until the Isles got healthier in goal, Montoya grabbed the starting job by the throat and played exceptionally well. In 20 games, he compiled a 9-5-5 record, 2.39 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. One would think with numbers that are much better than those belonging to Rick DiPietro, Montoya would be guaranteed the starting job entering camp, but if DiPietro proves himself to be healthy, he will see his share of starts as the Isles are still unwilling to give up on him, thus lessening Montoya's value.
Phoenix may want to consider naming their minor league affiliate the Wolverines, as Montoya is yet another University of Michigan product in the organization. Montoya may battle for the job against Josh Tordjman in AHL Las Vegas. Montoya looked good in the short glimpse he got with the Coyotes last season, winning three of the five games he appeared in, with a save percentage of .925.
It's getting very close to the point where Montoya needs to be in the NHL and unless something drastic happens, he is going to have to make his mark with a different team. The Rangers have Henrik Lundqvist, who figures to be their starting goalie for the next decade, and Montoya is too good a prospect to be a backup. With so many teams looking for good, young goaltending that the Rangers should get a very nice return once they decide to deal Montoya.
Montoya (23-9-1, 2.61 GAA, .907 save percentage in AHL Hartford), is coming off left shoulder surgery, but depending on how he progresses in rehabilitation; Montoya may be ready to displace Kevin Weekes for the backup goalie job. If Montoya is not on the roster the start of the season, expect the former first round pick to be with the club sometime during the regular season and make some sort of impact.
Selected sixth overall in the 2004 NHL entry draft, it's no secret that the Rangers are grooming the former Michigan goalie as a piece of their future. There was some talk prior to training camp that Montoya had a realistic shot at claiming the backup goaltending job to Weekes in 2005-06, however after playing himself out of contention, Montoya will instead start the season off at Hartford of the AHL. Expect his stay to be short however; the Rangers are looking to him to be their long term answer between the pipes.