Even if the Montreal Canadiens come out flat, Carey Price’s spot on the roster is probably safe. Should the Canadiens’ goalie struggle, the veteran netminder’s spot on the squad is probably secure. Should both the team and the player look bad, it isn’t likely Price will take the fall.
One, this is a particularly strange season. Two, Price’s contract isn’t exactly the easiest thing to shop.
Eric Engels of Sportsnet wrote in recent mailbag segment, that even if Carey Price doesn’t have a great playoff series and struggles early this postseason, he’s probably not joining to be moved, shopped, traded, sold off, bought out or any of the above.
When asked by a reader, “How long of a leash does Carey Price have if the Habs don’t make any noise in the playoffs?”, Engels responded that the leash is likely quite long and said, “I don’t believe the team has any expectations going into this 24-team tournament.”
Noting the Canadiens are the 24th seed, their success or failure won’t be tied exclusively to Price and his performance. Engels explains:
“That said, obviously management isn’t going to be particularly thrilled if the team plays exceptionally well and Price proves unreliable. But even something like that could boil down to the uniqueness of this unprecedented situation.
Trading Price Could Prove Tricky
Even if everything goes awry, Price leaving Montreal is hard to make happen. His contract is a big one and the flat cap doesn’t create a lot of room for players who are locked in as securely and come with as heavy a cost. Engels notes:
“…moving Price’s contract down the line would prove difficult with a stagnant cap — or even with a slowly escalating one — and it would be exceedingly difficult to obtain anything valuable in return if they tried to trade him following a disappointing stint.
So, the Canadiens and Price are tied together and for the long-haul. Let’s just hope for the team and the player’s sake, everyone performs well. If that happens, how much Price makes and how long he’ll be paid that salary won’t matter.
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