Is there any chance the Montreal Canadiens could or would consider trading Carey Price? Eric Engels noted during a Sportsnet mailbag segment that it’s a fair question to ask when you factor in the goaltender’s struggles and the team firing goaltending coach Stephane Waite this week. That said, if you’re among the many fans hoping to see a blockbuster deal, don’t get your hopes up… the chances are slim to none.
Engels goes into detail about why there’s talk about Price potentially being on the move. He notes that Seattle is being connected in rumors, the speculation being that the Kraken might be open to adding a franchise name like Price, and have the money to add his contract. Engels notes Price is from British Columbia, he spends time in Kelowna during the offseason and his wife is from Washington State. All of those things might suggest he’d be open to the Kraken as an option.
But, Engels also notes that this is all just talk.
Outside of how few teams (even Seattle) would be open to jumping head first into such a hefty and long-term contract like Price’s, the goalie has a full no-move clause and is in total control of his future.
The structure of his deal matters too. The way Price’s contract is set up — he’ll receive $11 million in signing bonuses prior to next season — the Canadiens would have to agree to pay the bonuses and then trade him. As Engels also points out, Price is also due at least $5.75 million up front in each of his remaining four years under contract and his total salary never dips below $7.5 million in any season.
In other words, this isn’t just a big as for Montreal, but it’s an expensive contract to take on for another team.
What If Price Wants to Be Traded?
The reason Price’s name is even coming up as often as it does is because Waite was fired and many fans believe that was Price’s doing. Reports suggest that is not the case and that Price didn’t even know until afterward, but the chatter is still out there. How long before he’s tired of what’s happening around him and decides he’s the part of the equation that needs changing?
Even if Price comes to management and says he wants out, and even if they’re willing to deal him at a loss just to earn the cap space, the financial complexities are onerous for both the Canadiens and whomever their trade partner would be.
Engels notes this is probably why Waite was released. If GM Marc Bergevin knows he can’t or won’t be moving Price no matter what, he needs to do whatever he can to get his starter back up to form. The Canadiens are stuck with him, so it’s best to make him happy.
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