While it’s still more than eight months before the Canadiens can sign franchise goaltender Carey Price to a contract extension, that hasn’t stopped the speculation on what it may take to get him signed from starting up already. Speaking with Sportsnet 590 in Toronto, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested that it could potentially take $10MM to get their star netminder to return (transcription from FanRag’s Chris Nichols):
“You know what? It could be a 10. It could be. I don’t know if it’ll go that high. I’m sure they’ll try to convince him to say, ‘Don’t make it 10 because we can win if you take a little less.’ But look. Would anybody be surprised if it’s a 9 or a 10?”
Price is off to another stellar start this season with a 1.56 goals against average and a .953 save percentage through nine games. Two years ago, he won the NHL’s Hart (league MVP) and Vezina (top goalie) trophies and the team completely fell apart after he was injured last November going from first overall in the standings to a team that missed the playoffs and finished in the bottom ten. Suffice it to say, he has a strong case to set a new benchmark price wise for goaltenders on the open market. Friedman also suggests that knowing this may have also played a reason in the summer blockbuster trade of P.K. Subban to Nashville:
“And look, that’s another reason why Subban was traded, because they knew that they were going to have to sign Carey Price at one point, and the number was going to be big.”
While they wound up swapping the highest cap hit for a defenseman for the second highest in Shea Weber, they still saved over $1MM on the cap in that deal, money that could very well help them get Price re-signed down the road.
Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers currently holds the highest cap hit among goalies with a charge of $8.5MM but he signed that deal at age 32 with a lower cap than there currently is and with stats that weren’t quite as strong as Price’s have been. When the time does come for him to sign a new deal – be it in the 2017 offseason with an early extension or in the summer of 2018 as a UFA, it appears that the discussion won’t be if Price gets the highest cap hit of goalies but rather by how much he does.
Also out of Montreal:
- From the same interview, Friedman notes that GM Marc Bergevin is looking to acquire another defenseman. The Canadiens are currently allowing the second most shots per game in the league at 33.6 but adding another depth defender isn’t going to do much to fix that. It has been suggested in the past that the team would like a top four blueliner but at this stage of the season, those players aren’t typically available. The team currently has just under $1.4MM in cap space per Cap Friendly which doesn’t leave them a lot of wiggle room to work with at the moment.
- The Canadiens have yet to lose at home this season, going 9-0-0. If they defeat the Red Wings on Saturday night, they will set a new franchise record for the most consecutive home victories to start a season. Montreal has only ever won nine straight on home ice to start the season once, back in 1953-54.