Montreal Canadiens: Exposing Carey Price to Expansion Is A Fireable Offence

Jul 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Montreal Canadiens Carey Price. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Montreal Canadiens Carey Price. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens had to send in their protection list for the upcoming expansion draft yesterday evening.

They can protect either seven forwards, three defenceman and a goaltender or eight skaters and a goaltender. There has been plenty of debate about the forwards that they may protect, and some disagreement on what defencemen they should keep (that was before Shea Weber was ruled out).

The one constant was that the most obvious player to protect was their star goaltender Carey Price. However, it sounds like that may not have been a slam dunk among Habs management for some reason.

There was plenty of trade chatter and some player movement before the roster freeze set in, but the Canadiens were silent. Then, shortly after the protection lists were sent in to the league, Frank Seravalli, the former TSN Hockey Insider, dropped a bomb on his followers on Twitter when he suggested the Canadiens had discussed asking Carey Price to waive his no-movement clause ahead of the expansion draft.

Pierre Lebrun of TSN quickly followed with a more convincing statement that Price has indeed waived his no movement clause and won’t be protected in the expansion draft.

This is among the worst decisions a general manager has made in the history of the National Hockey League.

Carey Price is signed to a large contract that has him earning a cap hit of $10.5 million for the next five seasons. He is already 33 years old so there is some argument that he won’t be able to live up to the big money on the contract in the future.

In fact, there has been plenty of debate over the first three years of the deal whether a goaltender is worth that much money in a salary cap world.

Then, Carey Price went out in the last two playoffs and showed he is absolutely worth the money he is being paid. In ten postseason games a year ago he had a 1.78 GAA and a .936 SV% against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. This year, Price helped lead the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final with a 2.27 GAA and a .924 SV%.

If being a brick wall in the postseason with consistency doesn’t make him worth protecting in the expansion draft, what would?

Price has plenty of reason to want to play in the Seattle area and the team have plenty of reason to want the former Hart Trophy and likely starter for Canada at next year’s Olympics.

Price was raised on the west coast of Canada in Anahim Lake, British Columbia. His wife, Angela, is from Washington state, just a few hour drive away from Seattle. The two met when Price was playing for the Tai-City Americans of the Western Hockey League as a Junior.

Does he want to go finish his career closer to home and much closer to his wife’s home? Where his children can visit their grandparents far more often? Of course that would be attractive to him and his family.

Is Habs general manager Marc Bergevin doing Price a favour by allowing him this opportunity to play close to home? Perhaps.

But has Bergevin heard of the idea of making a trade?

Price just played his heart out in carrying the Canadiens past the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. He didn’t carry the team past the Winnipeg Jets or Vegas Golden Knights, but he was excellent in rounds two and three after being the unquestioned team MVP by a mile in round one. Without Price’s heroics in the postseason, the Canadiens lose in five games in the first round.

The same could have been said a year ago. They have no chance against the Penguins without Price playing unbelievable.

And now, when he has finally proven to be worth that huge contract that so many said should never be given to a goaltender, he’s going to walk away for nothing?

That’s inexcusable. Bergevin can’t allow Price, the all-time wins leader in the lengthy, illustrious history of Canadiens goaltending to walk away for nothing in return.

Next. Habs should offer nothing to retain Jake Allen. dark

At least the Canadiens got Martin Rucinsky, Andrei Kovalenko and Jocelyn Thibault for Patrick Roy. Getting nothing for a franchise superstar is grounds for dismissal.