The reports of Carey Price’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin took to the podium today to speak with the media and indicated that the veteran goaltender will see doctors to examine some injuries, but the team isn’t expecting anything major. Bergevin gave an estimate of six-to-eight weeks recovery and noted there was a “small percentage” that it would be longer, once they determined the extent.
Price was left unprotected in the recent expansion draft, and rumors had been swirling that he might miss part of next season thanks to hip and knee injuries. That seems unlikely now, though at his age–Price will turn 34 in a few weeks–things can obviously change quickly.
Bergevin also spoke about Shea Weber, with much less confidence he will ever return to the Canadiens lineup. As Eric Engels of Sportsnet tweets, Weber is dealing with injuries to his ankle, foot, knee, and thumb and will not play next season. Bergevin even noted that he “probably won’t be back for his career.”
If it is indeed the end for Weber, it comes directly after the longest playoff run of his career, captaining the Canadiens all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. The 35-year-old defenseman has played in 1,038 regular season games, racking up 224 goals and 589 points. Weber sits 15th all-time in goals from a defenseman and could very well be headed for the Hall of Fame when he officially retires.
That likely won’t be for some time though, as there are still five years left on Weber’s contract. His injury status should give the team grounds to move him to long-term injured reserve for those years, allowing Weber to collect the $12MM still owed to him. It would also give the team some added cap flexibility, but obviously takes an important piece of their lineup out.
His will still be a story to follow closely, if only because of the cap recapture penalties that could be enforced on the Nashville Predators if Weber retires before his contract expires. Remember though, recapture penalties were changed in the last CBA, meaning that no single-year penalty can be greater than the contract’s cap hit. It means, instead of the $24.5MM penalty that Nashville potentially faced if Weber retired in 2025, they would instead incur penalties of $7.85MM for three years, and then $1MM in 2028-29. Not exactly ideal still, but at least not completely crippling.
After Price and Weber were discussed, Bergevin moved to Jonathan Drouin, who took a leave of absence from the team earlier this year. The Canadiens GM was happy to report that Drouin is ready to return for the 2021-22 season, and specifically noted the connection between the talented forward and head coach Dominique Ducharme, going back to their days in the QMJHL. Drouin has two years left on his contract with Montreal and carries a $5.5MM cap hit.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
Conspiracy theorist in me asks was this a ploy by Montreal to retain Price without protecting him? Play up a minor injury to make him less attractive to Seattle. Reminds me of how lots of players mysteriously get “injured” just before the all-star game.
Even if the injury news wasn’t there, I’m not sure Seattle wanted a 33 year old goalie with 5 years at 10.5 million and a NMC.
Especially after signing/drafting Driedger
I’m sure he’s hurting somewhat. Probably not as bad as being reported or thought of. I’m sure the Canadiens management didn’t mind the news of his injuries getting out just to make Seattle think about if they should or shouldn’t.
If you really just came to that conclusion now, well I may have a bridge to sell you bro.
get in line, I’m helping him acquire a very valuable time share property that will be a tremendous investment vehicle for years into his retirement…
just another reason for me to not like MON. lied about Price intentionally, and now gets to benefit off Weber’s injuries.
How did they lie about Price. And Montreal would rather Weber play, this isn’t a benefit
Seravalli reported that Price could miss “significant time with a hip injury.” Did he make that up, or was he leaked some information to make Price less appealing to Seattle? And Montreal would rather have the $7.8 million cap relief than to have a old broken down Weber playing.
What cjmask said.
@ SuperSinker – Yeah, but the chowderheads who leap to conspiracy theories never just take a simple explanation at face value. They always have to come up with some Dark! Sinister! Plot!
I mean, we’ll never know for sure, but the timing of all the Price news does feel a little suspicious. Seems plausible that the could have leaked exaggerated reports so as not to lose Price. Although, you can certainly argue that they should have wanted Price be drafted…. Regardless, it seems highly unlikely that Seattle would have taken Price, anyway.
As for Weber, yeah, I think they would rather him be playing, but those cap savings are gonna be real nice.
Not sure how it works with the expansion draft, but if the Habs were serious about drafting him could they have requested his medical records? Feel like that’s something the NHL should permit in these circumstances.
Seravalli is the Habs team doctor now?
What is “significant time” and when does it start?
No. But this information was given to him by “sources”, no telling what those “sources” are. And if Frank hears it, I’m certain Francis hears it from his “sources” as well.
Your loss Bozo.
Who cares if you don’t like them? Another brilliant move by Marc Bergevin!
As a habs fan i really wanted price gone, now was the onky chance to get out from under that contract even if it cost assets. Now trade for and sign jones to replace webrt please MB
You can have Jones. It will cost you Anderson, prospects and picks. : ) And you have to take Jones’ mom.
Is she hot?
So, they are going to live then? Good news.
Seemed to be real touch and go right before the expansion draft.
if Weber has any hard feelings about Nashville trading him now is the time to get revenge lol.
Rumors of Weber and Price’s deaths appear to have been greatly exaggerated. :D
As far as the Drouin update, I’m sorry to hear that.