Does Carey Price want out?

price

Slowly but surely, summer is coming. As it does, there is always an exercise to be made to evaluate the best upcoming UFAs for the July 1st frenzy.

As we stand today, the top player available would be Carey Price if the Montreal Canadiens can’t get an agreement with the superstar before due date.

Seems like a formality in the eyes of the regular guy. But there as been some whispers in “La Belle Province” and it is starting to take some momentum.

  • “Is Carey Price happy in Montreal? Does he want to stay here? He is worth 10M?”

Is he happy in Montreal?

Carey Price is a western boy known to love the outdoors and “the simple life”. Some say that he feels trapped in Montreal and that he considers going west to get closer to his community and family.

What hasn’t helped to stop the murmurs is his performance on the ice in this tough stretch that the “Habs” are in right now.

They have started the season really strong just like they did last season but they have hit a tough patch that has seen them lose their comfortable lead at the top of their division. They have also fired head coach Michel Therrien and replaced him with familiar face Claude Julien.

The underlying story in all this rumble is how Price has not been himself in front of the net and almost seemed uninterested at times. It planted a seed of doubt about Price and his intentions on returning with the organisation next season.

Most of the time, whenever there are rumours in Montreal, it is usually just to get people talking and nothing really comes of it. But this time, there could be some traction to it and Marc Bergevin has to take this potential problem with great seriousness

He cannot afford to lose his superstar player and the acquisition of Weber, a long-time friend of Price, might have been one of his tactics to sway his #1 goalie to resign with the club.

Bergevin has to consider every option available to him and the way that he handles this particular case, and his summer in general, will be significant for his own future with the organisation. Price, Radulov and Galchenyuk are some of the cases he will have to tackle.

It would be hard to imagine him keeping his job if Price and Radulov start next season with a Las Vegas jersey on their back.

Remember that Las Vegas has an exclusive window of negotiating before other teams when free agency starts…If the Canadiens don’t get their act together; I could imagine Price on a Ranch somewhere in Nevada, playing for the Golden Knights

 

Claude Julien in familiar template.

 

When Claude Julien got fired by the Boston Bruins, it was obvious that Michel Therrien’s time was counted with the Montreal Canadiens.

Therrien was replaced by Julien for the second time in franchise history but this time, it might look a lot different than on his first stint with the club.

In his first passage with the team, Julien didn’t have much to work with and the team was just starting to get out of the dark era that followed the Patrick Roy trade and that lasted almost a decade.

This time around, the coach inherits a much more talented squad. One that can be compared in some ways to the roster Julien had in Boston in his years of dominance and Championship.

Let’s do an exercice of comparaison with the assets available for the coach to put in his template.

 

Carey Price: Definitely the main piece in the puzzle, the best player in the world can be compared to Tim Thomas in terms of being a goalie that can win games by himself and be the anchor for the team to lean on in the playoffs.

Shea Weber: A big physical #1 defenseman that can play a ton of minutes. He also plays in every situation and brings a huge presence in the locker room. Although they are not exactly the same player, there is a lot of comparable between him and Zedno Chara that Julien can use to his advantage in his template.

Galchenyuk & Danault: It is known that Julien likes his center to be reliable defensively. Galchenyuk represents a good challenge for him as he arrived at that juncture in his career where he should be able to take the #1 center but is defensive game doesn’t seem to be up to par with players like Bergeron.

In the case of Danault, it seems that he has found a place on the team with his good performances this season. He is reliable defensively but the questions lay in his potential as an NHL point producer to be a top 2 lines player.

If Julien can come in and improve these two players’ weaknesses, he should have a good fit for at least 2 of his 3 center positions. A bit of a Bergeron and Krejci tandem but I feel like the coach will probably want to add a piece on that center line.

Maybe acquiring one of his old players like Bergeron is in the optics of the Canadiens. It can’t be ignored as a possibility.

Gallagher, Shaw, McCarron: Claude Julien loves his grinders and is very good at getting them involved with specific assignments. These 3 could be compared to Marchand, Campbell and Lucic. They will probably become more of a factor with the new coach and they will probably be asked to fill in a lot of defensive and energy missions.

If we had Pacioretty and Radulov and the rest of the defense, Julien has good pieces to start implementing his system on his new team.

Will he be able to bring the Habs to their 25th Stanley Cup Championship? Most of the pieces are in place. It is now to see if they will be able to take advantage of their window which is starting to close.

With Carey Price in net, they will always have a chance to win. But will he be there to start the season next fall?

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