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2021-22 State of the Habs


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Pierre Lebrun reporting that Habs won't make a new offer to Danault. They're sticking with their 6 years, 5M AAV and will let Danault test free agency. Habs say they're open to circling back on Danault if he sees other offers and realizes what his market value is, but they won't go above that price.

On the one hand, good for Bergevin for sticking to his guns. On the other hand, organizational depth is extremely low at center. I can't imagine he'll risk exposing Evans now with Danault unresolved and I can't imagine he's comfortable going into next season without a veteran center. I definitely sense there will be a trade or signing of a middle 6 center to supplement the kids. Wennberg? Krejci? Getzlaf? Stastny?

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15 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Pierre Lebrun reporting that Habs won't make a new offer to Danault. They're sticking with their 6 years, 5M AAV and will let Danault test free agency. Habs say they're open to circling back on Danault if he sees other offers and realizes what his market value is, but they won't go above that price.

On the one hand, good for Bergevin for sticking to his guns. On the other hand, organizational depth is extremely low at center. I can't imagine he'll risk exposing Evans now with Danault unresolved and I can't imagine he's comfortable going into next season without a veteran center. I definitely sense there will be a trade or signing of a middle 6 center to supplement the kids. Wennberg? Krejci? Getzlaf? Stastny?

Its not the ideal situation but i agree that we shouldnt overpay, especially not with term.  Id consider going up to $6m if Danault would take 2 or 3 years.  

We're going to be a far different team without him & will need to sign or trade for someone for sure, but i think there's a good foundation in Suzuki, JK and Evans. I also think that Poehling is going to surprise a lot of people this year (although i still feel like he may be better suited, at the NHL level, to playing wing). 

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22 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

I think the Habs offer was fair i even find the term a bit long but it is what it is. you know we are going to be signing a couple of francophones soon!

This ^^ plus the fact that our scouts probably saw quite a few QMJHL games vs lack of play in other leagues, makes me think we draft a few kids from this league this year 

 

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2 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Pierre Lebrun reporting that Habs won't make a new offer to Danault. They're sticking with their 6 years, 5M AAV and will let Danault test free agency. Habs say they're open to circling back on Danault if he sees other offers and realizes what his market value is, but they won't go above that price.

On the one hand, good for Bergevin for sticking to his guns. On the other hand, organizational depth is extremely low at center. I can't imagine he'll risk exposing Evans now with Danault unresolved and I can't imagine he's comfortable going into next season without a veteran center. I definitely sense there will be a trade or signing of a middle 6 center to supplement the kids. Wennberg? Krejci? Getzlaf? Stastny?

I‘m fine with this, we‘re very thin at center without Danault and he’s been great but he‘s not a guy we should be spending dollars and term on. 30M/6 years still is a very good contract for what he brings, plus there‘s plenty of endorsement money for him to be earned in QC. I‘d be shocked if he got a considerably better deal elsewhere, although taxes are a factor of course.

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It's a fair offer, especially for a one dimensional player, yes great defensively but totally offensively inept.  And really all the attention he got for shutting down the Leafs, Jets and knights went to his head  it was a line effort not a solo job.  I really can't see any team offering up a larger contract that the one the Habs offered him

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8 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

Money is tight in the NHL with that flat Cap. It's hard to believe he can get a better deal somewhere else but then again,,,, there are a lot of incompetent GM's in this League.

and with Term. Thats the big thing.  I cant imagine he'll get significantly worse in any area over the next 6 seasons but you have to hope that within 2-3 seasons your centre depth is better so that you dont need to  pay a guy like Danault over $5m a year.   Like he's a great defensive centre, but on a good team he's your #3 guy.  On our team he's still top 2 but for how long? And is him being ahead of JK slowing down the young fella's development? 

Danault as your 3rd line centre = perfection but at over $5m you're paying him to be higher up the lineup than that.  Which is why id give him that money (or even a little more) on a shorter deal but not more $ and/or term. 

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WOW, just was able to catch up on the Habs news from the last 48 hours! Where did things go so far sideways? We went from losing in the SCF to possibly losing 3 of our top players (Danault, Weber and Allen) for good in the next week. That will have serious implications on our lineup headed into next season. KK will definitely need to step up his game as will Poehling but I don't see why they can't accomplish this. Weber's injury just highlights how weak we really were on the RHD. Having only 4 RHD in the entire organization was always going to be an issue but we were hoping for at least 2 more years before having to deal with it LOL. Oh well guess we will see what kind of rabbit MB can pull out of his hat here.

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5 minutes ago, Regis22 said:

https://theleafsnation.com/2021/07/16/around-the-nhl-the-canadiens-may-have-made-the-cup-finals-but-the-franchise-is-probably-doomed-going-forward-going-forward/

Around the NHL: The Canadiens may have made the Cup Finals, but the franchise is probably doomed going forward

While i dont disagree with some of what the author has written, its funny that this article is from the same site that said montreal would be lucky to win a single game against the leafs & I seem to remember them calling the jets and knight's series' wrong. 

So maybe they just dont know much about hockey?:4224:

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I really don't think we're as "doomed" as some say we are. Why?

1. Tatar is a good player but he hardly played in the playoffs and we have Caufield to replace him essentially.

2. Drouin may be back. If he's not back in Montreal, maybe we acquire something for him. Worst-case scenario is he goes on LTIR and we have cap space to spend.

3. Ditto Weber. If he can't play, it's not like he went down in the middle of the season when you're scrambling to replace him. The Habs will know that he's starting the season on LTIR and they can use his 7M+ cap space to spend elsewhere.

4. Danault is a core piece here but again, there's upside to not overspending on him. It means Suzuki and JK are likely getting more ice time. It means Jake Evans gets a shot to play more and fill Danault's role for cheaper. It means there's another forward we protect in the ED that we might have lost otherwise. Once again, it means cap space available.

5. Allen is also a nice back-up to have but at some point you have to have faith in Primeau to play. He can't be in Laval forever. If you lose Allen, then you lose Allen and you get some cap space back and it means you didn't lose a Lehkonen instead.

 

Put all of that together and the Habs could have a lot of free space to add this off-season. That's close to 25M in cap that might suddenly be freed up from those players not being on the roster. It gives you tons of room to make a competitive offer to Dougie Hamilton or Gabriel Landeskog or Taylor Hall or whoever you choose to go after. It gives you flexibility to try and trade for a Seth Jones or a Matt Dumba or a Jake Bean or a Vince Dunn. Sure, it would hurt to lose some of those guys, but if I told you we lose Tatar, Drouin, Weber, Danault, Armia, and Allen but came out of the off-season with guys like Caufield, Saad, Hamilton, Dunn, Perreault, and Primeau replacing them at the start of next year, I think we'd be a better team. I honestly believe Weber is overrated and that most of the rest are replaceable if MB spends the money. With the ED, it's a good year to take advantage of teams trying to move out pieces and with the pandemic limiting revenues, it might also be a good year to have cap space and an owner with deep pockets to get quality players that other teams just can't afford right now.

I'll add that I'm also not sure Allen is the guy who goes. There's lots of talk about Driedger. There's talk about Holtby and one of the Washington goalies being drafted. I'll repeat this, but Seattle doesn't need more than one starter. And if they go with Holtby as a back-up, they likely want a younger guy than Allen to tandem with him. If we expose them, I think players like Lehkonen, Evans, Kulak, Fleury, or Chiarot could be just as enticing as Allen to Seattle.

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1 hour ago, campabee82 said:

WOW, just was able to catch up on the Habs news from the last 48 hours! Where did things go so far sideways? We went from losing in the SCF to possibly losing 3 of our top players (Danault, Weber and Allen) for good in the next week. That will have serious implications on our lineup headed into next season. KK will definitely need to step up his game as will Poehling but I don't see why they can't accomplish this. Weber's injury just highlights how weak we really were on the RHD. Having only 4 RHD in the entire organization was always going to be an issue but we were hoping for at least 2 more years before having to deal with it LOL. Oh well guess we will see what kind of rabbit MB can pull out of his hat here.

And Tatar.  And, some say, Drouin.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

I really don't think we're as "doomed" as some say we are. Why?

1. Tatar is a good player but he hardly played in the playoffs and we have Caufield to replace him essentially.

2. Drouin may be back. If he's not back in Montreal, maybe we acquire something for him. Worst-case scenario is he goes on LTIR and we have cap space to spend.

3. Ditto Weber. If he can't play, it's not like he went down in the middle of the season when you're scrambling to replace him. The Habs will know that he's starting the season on LTIR and they can use his 7M+ cap space to spend elsewhere.

4. Danault is a core piece here but again, there's upside to not overspending on him. It means Suzuki and JK are likely getting more ice time. It means Jake Evans gets a shot to play more and fill Danault's role for cheaper. It means there's another forward we protect in the ED that we might have lost otherwise. Once again, it means cap space available.

5. Allen is also a nice back-up to have but at some point you have to have faith in Primeau to play. He can't be in Laval forever. If you lose Allen, then you lose Allen and you get some cap space back and it means you didn't lose a Lehkonen instead.

 

Put all of that together and the Habs could have a lot of free space to add this off-season. That's close to 25M in cap that might suddenly be freed up from those players not being on the roster. It gives you tons of room to make a competitive offer to Dougie Hamilton or Gabriel Landeskog or Taylor Hall or whoever you choose to go after. It gives you flexibility to try and trade for a Seth Jones or a Matt Dumba or a Jake Bean or a Vince Dunn. Sure, it would hurt to lose some of those guys, but if I told you we lose Tatar, Drouin, Weber, Danault, Armia, and Allen but came out of the off-season with guys like Caufield, Saad, Hamilton, Dunn, Perreault, and Primeau replacing them at the start of next year, I think we'd be a better team. I honestly believe Weber is overrated and that most of the rest are replaceable if MB spends the money. With the ED, it's a good year to take advantage of teams trying to move out pieces and with the pandemic limiting revenues, it might also be a good year to have cap space and an owner with deep pockets to get quality players that other teams just can't afford right now.

I'll add that I'm also not sure Allen is the guy who goes. There's lots of talk about Driedger. There's talk about Holtby and one of the Washington goalies being drafted. I'll repeat this, but Seattle doesn't need more than one starter. And if they go with Holtby as a back-up, they likely want a younger guy than Allen to tandem with him. If we expose them, I think players like Lehkonen, Evans, Kulak, Fleury, or Chiarot could be just as enticing as Allen to Seattle.

I agree with all of this and will add that since Bishop waived his NMC it's likely they select him over Allen as well.

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3 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I really don't think we're as "doomed" as some say we are. Why?

1. Tatar is a good player but he hardly played in the playoffs and we have Caufield to replace him essentially.

2. Drouin may be back. If he's not back in Montreal, maybe we acquire something for him. Worst-case scenario is he goes on LTIR and we have cap space to spend.

3. Ditto Weber. If he can't play, it's not like he went down in the middle of the season when you're scrambling to replace him. The Habs will know that he's starting the season on LTIR and they can use his 7M+ cap space to spend elsewhere.

4. Danault is a core piece here but again, there's upside to not overspending on him. It means Suzuki and JK are likely getting more ice time. It means Jake Evans gets a shot to play more and fill Danault's role for cheaper. It means there's another forward we protect in the ED that we might have lost otherwise. Once again, it means cap space available.

5. Allen is also a nice back-up to have but at some point you have to have faith in Primeau to play. He can't be in Laval forever. If you lose Allen, then you lose Allen and you get some cap space back and it means you didn't lose a Lehkonen instead.

 

Put all of that together and the Habs could have a lot of free space to add this off-season. That's close to 25M in cap that might suddenly be freed up from those players not being on the roster. It gives you tons of room to make a competitive offer to Dougie Hamilton or Gabriel Landeskog or Taylor Hall or whoever you choose to go after. It gives you flexibility to try and trade for a Seth Jones or a Matt Dumba or a Jake Bean or a Vince Dunn. Sure, it would hurt to lose some of those guys, but if I told you we lose Tatar, Drouin, Weber, Danault, Armia, and Allen but came out of the off-season with guys like Caufield, Saad, Hamilton, Dunn, Perreault, and Primeau replacing them at the start of next year, I think we'd be a better team. I honestly believe Weber is overrated and that most of the rest are replaceable if MB spends the money. With the ED, it's a good year to take advantage of teams trying to move out pieces and with the pandemic limiting revenues, it might also be a good year to have cap space and an owner with deep pockets to get quality players that other teams just can't afford right now.

I'll add that I'm also not sure Allen is the guy who goes. There's lots of talk about Driedger. There's talk about Holtby and one of the Washington goalies being drafted. I'll repeat this, but Seattle doesn't need more than one starter. And if they go with Holtby as a back-up, they likely want a younger guy than Allen to tandem with him. If we expose them, I think players like Lehkonen, Evans, Kulak, Fleury, or Chiarot could be just as enticing as Allen to Seattle.

This is a crucial off season for MB.   We could well end up much better next year... or we could be worse.  Its really up to him and what he does over teh next couple months. He had a strong off season last year.. lets hope this one is even better.  

Im confident he will make some big moves (because he has to) but im a little worried he may deviate from "the plan" - if, in fact, he truly has one.  

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4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I really don't think we're as "doomed" as some say we are. Why?

1. Tatar is a good player but he hardly played in the playoffs and we have Caufield to replace him essentially.

2. Drouin may be back. If he's not back in Montreal, maybe we acquire something for him. Worst-case scenario is he goes on LTIR and we have cap space to spend.

3. Ditto Weber. If he can't play, it's not like he went down in the middle of the season when you're scrambling to replace him. The Habs will know that he's starting the season on LTIR and they can use his 7M+ cap space to spend elsewhere.

4. Danault is a core piece here but again, there's upside to not overspending on him. It means Suzuki and JK are likely getting more ice time. It means Jake Evans gets a shot to play more and fill Danault's role for cheaper. It means there's another forward we protect in the ED that we might have lost otherwise. Once again, it means cap space available.

5. Allen is also a nice back-up to have but at some point you have to have faith in Primeau to play. He can't be in Laval forever. If you lose Allen, then you lose Allen and you get some cap space back and it means you didn't lose a Lehkonen instead.

 

Put all of that together and the Habs could have a lot of free space to add this off-season. That's close to 25M in cap that might suddenly be freed up from those players not being on the roster. It gives you tons of room to make a competitive offer to Dougie Hamilton or Gabriel Landeskog or Taylor Hall or whoever you choose to go after. It gives you flexibility to try and trade for a Seth Jones or a Matt Dumba or a Jake Bean or a Vince Dunn. Sure, it would hurt to lose some of those guys, but if I told you we lose Tatar, Drouin, Weber, Danault, Armia, and Allen but came out of the off-season with guys like Caufield, Saad, Hamilton, Dunn, Perreault, and Primeau replacing them at the start of next year, I think we'd be a better team. I honestly believe Weber is overrated and that most of the rest are replaceable if MB spends the money. With the ED, it's a good year to take advantage of teams trying to move out pieces and with the pandemic limiting revenues, it might also be a good year to have cap space and an owner with deep pockets to get quality players that other teams just can't afford right now.

I'll add that I'm also not sure Allen is the guy who goes. There's lots of talk about Driedger. There's talk about Holtby and one of the Washington goalies being drafted. I'll repeat this, but Seattle doesn't need more than one starter. And if they go with Holtby as a back-up, they likely want a younger guy than Allen to tandem with him. If we expose them, I think players like Lehkonen, Evans, Kulak, Fleury, or Chiarot could be just as enticing as Allen to Seattle.

Completely agree with all of this, I think there's more opportunity and good news in all of this.  Probably where we disagree would be that I think MB will do well with this situation :)
Its going to be a dog fight to get into the playoffs next year.

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

This is a crucial off season for MB.   We could well end up much better next year... or we could be worse.  Its really up to him and what he does over teh next couple months. He had a strong off season last year.. lets hope this one is even better.  

Im confident he will make some big moves (because he has to) but im a little worried he may deviate from "the plan" - if, in fact, he truly has one.  

I still don't believe MB has an actual plan to turn us into a legit contender - and I don't mean a team that makes a magical run to the SCF, I mean a team like Tampa or Vegas who are in the conversation as a Cup challenger year after year. He hasn't identified a window where he's willing to go for it. We'll see how he reacts to the Weber injury and shifts his focus now that one of his star vets has gone down.

As you alluded to, there's a lot of opportunity here, but MB could just as easily miss the mark. If he chooses to sit on his roster and not use the cap space, then we're right back to where we were a couple of years ago.

 

37 minutes ago, Windoe said:

Completely agree with all of this, I think there's more opportunity and good news in all of this.  Probably where we disagree would be that I think MB will do well with this situation :)
Its going to be a dog fight to get into the playoffs next year.

Definitely an opportunity here to seize. Cap space and flexibility is a huge asset. You can sell your cap space in a trade, the way we did to grab Armia or how Carolina did to get a 1st round pick from Toronto. You can sign a free agent with an offer no one else can match. You can swing a trade and hold another team in cap trouble hostage. This year, you can take advantage of a team's roster issues ahead of the ED. There are multiple ways to exploit this.

Currently, the Habs have 8 forwards, 6 D men, and 2 goalies under contract to play in the NHL next season, plus the nearly 2M buyout hit from Alzner and 600k overage in bonuses from last year. All that leaves them sitting at about 73M in used space right now, with a need to add 5-6 more forwards and another D man. I'd expect Kotkaniemi, Lehkonen, Perry, and maybe Ylonen and Poehling to account for 5 of those spots barring trades/ED. Chances are that those players will account for about 8M in spending, give or take. Add in another D man like Fleury or Brook at under 1M and we're floating pretty much right around the cap. Not much wiggle room at all.

But now let's see those missing players as an opportunity. Subtract Weber's 7.9M and Drouin's 5.5M. Assume that Allen's 2.9M or Chiarot's 3.5M gets drafted by Seattle and that if it's Allen who goes, Primeau and his 880k salary are on the roster instead. Well now that's left us with. Well now you have over 15M in cap room to add one defenceman and one forward to add to the following:

Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson

Toffoli-Kotkaniemi-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Evans-Byron

Perry-Poehling-Ylonen

 

 

Edmundson-Petry

Chiarot-Romanov

Kulak-Fleury

 

Price

Primeau

 

It's maybe a fringe playoff team line-up right now, but if you can add Dougie Hamilton at 7.5M AAV and Brandon Saad at 4.25M for example, then suddenly, that's a pretty solid roster. There may even be money to look at a back-up goalie. So there's opportunity there. On the other hand, if MB doesn't find a way to spend that money well, then the above roster isn't challenging for a Cup and the focus should be building for the future.

 

 

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7 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

I really don't think we're as "doomed" as some say we are. Why?

1. Tatar is a good player but he hardly played in the playoffs and we have Caufield to replace him essentially.

2. Drouin may be back. If he's not back in Montreal, maybe we acquire something for him. Worst-case scenario is he goes on LTIR and we have cap space to spend.

3. Ditto Weber. If he can't play, it's not like he went down in the middle of the season when you're scrambling to replace him. The Habs will know that he's starting the season on LTIR and they can use his 7M+ cap space to spend elsewhere.

4. Danault is a core piece here but again, there's upside to not overspending on him. It means Suzuki and JK are likely getting more ice time. It means Jake Evans gets a shot to play more and fill Danault's role for cheaper. It means there's another forward we protect in the ED that we might have lost otherwise. Once again, it means cap space available.

5. Allen is also a nice back-up to have but at some point you have to have faith in Primeau to play. He can't be in Laval forever. If you lose Allen, then you lose Allen and you get some cap space back and it means you didn't lose a Lehkonen instead.

 

Put all of that together and the Habs could have a lot of free space to add this off-season. That's close to 25M in cap that might suddenly be freed up from those players not being on the roster. It gives you tons of room to make a competitive offer to Dougie Hamilton or Gabriel Landeskog or Taylor Hall or whoever you choose to go after. It gives you flexibility to try and trade for a Seth Jones or a Matt Dumba or a Jake Bean or a Vince Dunn. Sure, it would hurt to lose some of those guys, but if I told you we lose Tatar, Drouin, Weber, Danault, Armia, and Allen but came out of the off-season with guys like Caufield, Saad, Hamilton, Dunn, Perreault, and Primeau replacing them at the start of next year, I think we'd be a better team. I honestly believe Weber is overrated and that most of the rest are replaceable if MB spends the money. With the ED, it's a good year to take advantage of teams trying to move out pieces and with the pandemic limiting revenues, it might also be a good year to have cap space and an owner with deep pockets to get quality players that other teams just can't afford right now.

I'll add that I'm also not sure Allen is the guy who goes. There's lots of talk about Driedger. There's talk about Holtby and one of the Washington goalies being drafted. I'll repeat this, but Seattle doesn't need more than one starter. And if they go with Holtby as a back-up, they likely want a younger guy than Allen to tandem with him. If we expose them, I think players like Lehkonen, Evans, Kulak, Fleury, or Chiarot could be just as enticing as Allen to Seattle.

the only way were doomed is if we can't get the UFAs to come here or have to overpay in trades. I don't think we're losing anyone that important to our success right now

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Had a thought earlier today and wanted opinions on it. Domi thrived in Montreal then fell off in Columbus. What do you think about sending Byron and a 2nd for Domi? We could retain Danault (hopefully at around 4.25-4.5 x 8 years. That gives him more money than the 5.5 x 6 he was asking for but over a longer period. We could also add a M-NTC with 10 team no trades) Then we line up

 

Toffoli-Suzuki-Caufield 

Domi-Kotkaniemi-Anderson

Lehkonen-Danault-Gallagher

Poehling-Evans-Perry/Yelonen

Sign both Savard (4-4.5 Mil x 3 years) and Suter (1.25-1.75 Mil x 1 or 2 years) and our back end looks like

Edmundson-Petry

Chiarot-Savard

Romanov-Suter

Kulak

Price

Halak (or someone similar for 1 year)

This is all contingent on Weber and Drouin on LTIR. It also leaves us with about 4 Mil cap space for deadline additions.

 

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More and more our unexpected Cup run is feeling like a last grasp before this time spirals. Bergevin doesn't seem excited about signing an extension. Maybe he leaves the GM role after next season. With Weber having some major injuries that will take him away from the game, Price possibly needing surgery, Danault testing the free agent market, and no clarity around the Drouin situation... Well, it kind of feels like another rebuild/retool/whatever is approaching. Which I am fine with. The Cup run was wonderful fun, but I do feel like we need some changes.

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4 hours ago, jennifer_rocket said:

More and more our unexpected Cup run is feeling like a last grasp before this time spirals. Bergevin doesn't seem excited about signing an extension. Maybe he leaves the GM role after next season. With Weber having some major injuries that will take him away from the game, Price possibly needing surgery, Danault testing the free agent market, and no clarity around the Drouin situation... Well, it kind of feels like another rebuild/retool/whatever is approaching. Which I am fine with. The Cup run was wonderful fun, but I do feel like we need some changes.

As long as it is done properly, im fine with it too.  I fear we have lost our window to turn guys like Price and Weber and Petry and Gallagher into younger, quality assets though, which would have really helped with our rebuild plans. 

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

As long as it is done properly, im fine with it too.  I fear we have lost our window to turn guys like Price and Weber and Petry and Gallagher into younger, quality assets though, which would have really helped with our rebuild plans. 

Definitely. It would be a shame to see Carey be selected by the Kraken and we lose someone who was widely considered the best in the world just a few years ago, for what in return...? Cap relief? I always hate losing assets for nothing.

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46 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Definitely. It would be a shame to see Carey be selected by the Kraken and we lose someone who was widely considered the best in the world just a few years ago, for what in return...? Cap relief? I always hate losing assets for nothing.

If Carey does not need to be here because of his choice to potentially play closer to his hometown and lifestyle in seattle, well he has served us well and earned that right. At some point his ability will decline as he will be 34 in August and what do we forecast he has in terms of marquee ability - 2 maybe 3 years on that 5 years remaining $10.5M contract? Maybe he is that exception. I can only think of Martin Brodeur who was truly elite past the age of 35 in the modern era. Lunqvuist  and Longo had significant declines Then some of us will say we should have traded him or given up his contract for cap room or retention when a decline in his play may occur.  So I am 50-50 on the gamble of getting nothing but cap space for him. 

I do like the idea of getting a Dougie Hamilton, Landeskog , Brandon Saad (LW - steady 20 goals), Laine (RFA) - give up something) with the cap room. The goalie 5-hole will be a very difficult one to patch as Primeau IMO is still a year away from from competing in this arena.

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1 hour ago, jennifer_rocket said:

Definitely. It would be a shame to see Carey be selected by the Kraken and we lose someone who was widely considered the best in the world just a few years ago, for what in return...? Cap relief? I always hate losing assets for nothing.

If Price was just turning 30 as opposed to 34 then i can see justification to not expose him, as the following years would be close to what he's worth on the open market . When he got this deal they probably assumed the contract would be fair value (percentage of cap) through the later years. With the flat cap that's no longer the case. I sure don't want to lose him for nothing, but at this point in his career we could say we might be better off with the Cap savings as a team rather then hoping for the all world goaltender he has been in the past. 

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