Carey Price deal a huge mistake for the Habs

Posted: July 3, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hey at least I’m consistent man. I’ve been saying since the very beginnings of the Top Shelf revolution that Carey ‘Man in Black’ Price is one unproven commodity and I’m sticking to my guns this morning.

No I’m not suggesting we trade him to St. Louis to get Jaroslav ‘Hero’ Halak back (eds. note: Why not? Good idea!). All I’m saying is that Pricey ain’t won nothing in the National Hockey League. And since he ain’t done nothing yet, he does NOT deserve to be the third highest-paid netminder in the Big Leagues.

On Monday, Marc ‘We Still Like Him’ Bergevin signed Price to a six-year deal at $6.5 million per season. As Pat Hickey notes in his piece in the Gazette Tuesday, there are only two goalies with higher cap hits than Price. They are Pekka Rinne in Nashville who is the top earner with a pay cheque of $7 million per year, followed closely by New York Rangers whiz kid Henrik Lundqvist with a salary of $6.875 million.

Does Price deserve the same kind of money as these guys? Not by any stretch of the imagination. The problem is that, as Jack Todd calls ’em, “his cheerleaders in the press box” have been telling us for years that Price is the next Patrick Roy but there’s absolutely no proof of that up until now. He’s a good goalie, most of the time, but that’s it.

Let’s do a little comparison shopping. Finnish phenom Renne led the league last year in wins, shots against, games played, and saves, and was one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy for best goalie. That by the way was the second straight year he was on the short list for the Vezina.

Lundqvist won the Vezina this past season – i.e. he’s the  best goalie in the league – and had a goals-against-average of 1.97 and a save-percentage of .930. He was also simply stunning in the playoffs.

Price? Ummm first-off he wasn’t in the playoffs. Price had a losing record last season, with 26 wins and 28 losses, and a mediocre GAA of 2.43 and a less-than-stellar save-percentage of .916.

Now you are going to say he was playing for a cruddy team. And you’re right. But still. He didn’t steal any games for the Hab-nots. He didn’t do anything to deserve $6.5 million.

Then there’s the fact that he’s never taken the Habs anywhere in the post-season. In four playoffs with the Canadiens, he’s only won 8 out of 26 games. That’s terrible. And I’m not even going to give you his playoff GAA and save-percentage stats cos they stink.

The only post-season success the Habs have had in recent memory is the spring of 2010 when that unlikely team made it to the conference final – but the fellow between the pipes that playoff was a chap named Halak while Mr. Price was warming the bench.

It’s too much money and too many years for a guy who hasn’t proven anything yet in the Big Boys League. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying Price will never become a great goalie. He might. But he isn’t a great goalie right here right now.

  1. Mike Chamberlain says:

    Please, Brendan, this man-crush you have for Halak is not warranted. CP31 has more career wins than Halak, comparable career GAA and SV%, is 2 years younger, and can play 70 games a season, something Halak can’t do. Halak had one great post-season run. That’s it. Rinne and King Henry are better than Price AT THIS POINT, but neither of them has won anything yet, not even made a Cup final. I’m not counting Vezinas. What were their career records when they were 24?

    The $$$ look big, but it’s market value, and in 3-4 years, as Price comes into his prime, it will look like a steal. Wouldn’t trade Price for Halak if the Blues threw in a first round pick. We’ve seen the best that Halak can do; Price has just tapped his potential.

    What I like about this signing is that it gives the Habs long-term stability at the most important position. Is the price for Price a bit high? Perhaps. But it’s the market rate for franchise goaltenders, which Price, whether you like to admit it, is.

  2. topshelfbk says:

    Hey Mike, number of good points there. Do I seriously think we should trade for Halak? No. I just put that stuff in to peeve off my friend Marc-Andre Grondin. But the Habs are paying too much for Price and giving him too many years. I hope it works out. But that’s far from guaranteed.

  3. Mike Chamberlain says:

    Hey Brendan, I don’t get why you think 6 years is too long at that money. It’s only too long if Price pulls a Gomez, which is highly unlikely, and, as I said, the way salaries are going, it’s going to be a bargain in the last 2-3 years of the contract.

  4. Bob Baz says:

    Brendan: Your comments are bang on. I like Price. But let’s face it, how much longer can his body hold up? The past few seasons have shown that he’s not 100% all the time. It would not surprise me if he’s got another 2 good years left before his play tails off considerably. Looking at recent playoffs shows that teams continue to win without a marquee goaltender (Matt Murray, Corey Crawford, Antti Niemi, even Jonathan Quick wasn’t a household name before Kings won their first Cup). Why tie yourself to such a massive contract over 8 years is beyond me. Looking at these other recent moves especially all of the D-Men that have been shipped out, is making me feel that the Canadiens are quickly become Canucks-East…Bergevin should be on a very short leash because I don’t see what his plan is here.

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