It was reported earlier today that the Canadiens and Carey Price are close to signing a new extension, of the long-term, big money variety.
The source, anonymous as always, reported to J.T Utah from 25Stanley [podcast in question here] that the Canadiens had offered a 7 year, 49$ million contract, similar to the one offered to Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne earlier this season. Apparently, Price and his agent countered that offer with 10 years, $70 million.
Price, as you recall, is in his last year of a contract signed in 2010. Yes, that 2010. Right after most of the Canadiens fanbase wanted Halak to be crowned as #1 and Price had completely abysmal stats. After the infamous Halak trade, Carey Price was able to re-establish himself as the #1 goalie in a tremendously pressure packed environment. It takes some guts to rise to the occasion in that instance. He was booed, even in the pre-season, and was largely considered to be a flop by Habs fans. But Gauthier definitely made the right gamble in retrospect, as we watched Price have an all-star season last year. His numbers were stellar, at 38 wins, a 0.923 save percentage and a 2.35 GAA to go along with a nomination to the All Star Team. In the playoffs, he played well, shaking much of that playoff under-performer reputation, and have 3W, 4L but with an absolutely excellent 0.934 save percentage.
Price is currently earning 2,750,000$ and becomes an RFA July 1st. If I’m Pierre Gauthier, I offer Price whatever he wants. He’s been, on many nights, the only player with any pride on the ice. You can see the will to compete, the frustration after he gives up a goal, and his absolute elation after a win. He wants to win, and I believe he wants to win here. If he is even contemplating a long-term contract after this fiasco of a season, then sign him now. I believe the Gorges extension will help, seeing as how they are reportedly best friends. Let’s get the core signed and give the fans some happiness in an absolutely brutal season.
The question here becomes more about what comparable will Price’s agent use. The logical one would be Pekka Rinne, who is the 29 year old goaltender of the Nashville Predators, who signed a 7 year, 49$ million contract in November 2011. At the time, he was the runner up for the Vezina, and it was considered a relatively fair contract based on his contributions. Importantly though, he was an impending UFA, meaning that Price’s agent legally can’t use that in arbitration as an example.
Other comparables for Price may be Cam Ward at $6,300,000 [but he has won a Cup], Fleury at $5,500,000 [also has a Cup] and Ryan Miller at $6,250,000 [no cup, but a little older, Olympian]. Interestingly according to Capgeek, Price is ranked as 20th out of 50 on a list of the top salaries for goaltenders. All of the ones mentioned are older, with probably a little more experience. But Price is only 24, a home-grown product who has seemingly lived through it all in Montreal. He has the All-Star nominations, and the potential to win the Stanley Cup in the future.
Just for fun, if Price signs the Habs offer that gives him an annual average salary of $7 million, that would put him as the second highest paid goalie on that list, right under Mr.Universe Bryzgalov, and above Lundqvist at $6,875,000. I don’t know if that’s where he should be, but I feel that he definitely deserves more than 5$ mill per year.
If we look at his offer, Price wants an annual average of $10 million per year. That would make him tied with Bryzgalov for the most expensive goalie in league. I would actually take Price before Bryzgalov on my team, so the question becomes where can they compromise.
If I could venture a guess, I say he gets 8 years, $65 million with an NTC, meaning an annual average salary of $8.125.
He’s the MVP of this team, give him whatever it takes to get him here long-term.