When Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick agreed to a ten-year contract extension with his Cup-winning team, my Twitter pal Paul Wong was quick to ask me where I figured that left Carey ‘Gump Cash’ Price.
My answer? It has nothing to do with Price. Quick won the Stanley Cup and nabbed the Conn Smythe Trophy along the way. Price, may I remind you, has won nothing. Ever. In the National Hockey League.
I’m not saying he’s not a good goalie. He is. And he may become a great one. But to paraphrase the great Bachman Turner Overdrive, We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet! (Add in your own ‘b-b-b-b-b-baby’.)
Our beloved Habs, may I remind you, finished last place in the East this past season. Now of course that wasn’t mainly Price’s fault. Heck it was hardly The Man in Black’s fault at all. That was a psycho team from top to bottom, crafted in the image of its strange general manager. But Pricey didn’t pull off any miracles either.
The other thing I said to Paul is that those ten, eleven, twelve-year deals are just stoopid. D-U-M-B, as the Ramones put it so memorably. Just look at the Roberto Luongo situation. Here is a netminder with ten years left on his ridiculous 12-year, $64 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks and he’s not even the team’s No. 1 goalie anymore, with Cory Schneider effectively in that spot right now after Luongo choked in the playoffs yet again. But Vancouver is stuck with Luongo since no sane general manager wants to pick up that kind of contract for a goalie who keeps underwhelming.
There are reports that the Habs might be contemplating a six or seven-year deal for Price for something in the range of $6 million or $7 million a year.
Well I have just one piece of advice for the Habs’ new, much-improved GM Marc ‘Dashing Man’ Bergevin – don’t give Price more than four years. He’s still an unproven commodity. I’m not saying don’t sign him. I’m not saying think way outside the box and instead go for the season’s most surprising free agent – Marty ‘Old Man’ Brodeur. (Though wouldn’t that be a great story, eh? Brodeur returns to his hometown to finish his career with the Canadiens? Hey a guy can dream.)
I’m not saying trade Price to St. Louis to get Jaroslav Halak back – though that too is a cool idea.
No I’m just saying don’t go for more than four years. Let Mr. Country Music bring us a Cup – or even a couple of dominant playoff-series wins – and then we’ll talk about ten-year deals.