By JD Lagrange – Carey Price’s health issues have left the Canadiens scrambling in net for years to come… and it doesn’t appear that there is a solution coming anytime soon. Jake Allen was brought in by Marc Bergevin to be Price’s back up goaltender. He’s now the starter. Samuel Montembeault was picked off waivers and is doing okay. But he’s unlikely to be the solution long term. Cayden Primeau is taking his sweet time to develop and other goaltenders in the organization haven’t even turned pro yet… at least not in North America.
The situation in net for the Canadiens is a position of weakness. This is why it is so important for Kent Hughes and the Canadiens to find a solution and find one quickly. As the team is showing great progress with the young players drafted and acquired via trades since the 2018 Reset, the team won’t be able to take the next step without a suitable keeper.
Changes in Philadelphia
As Daniel Briere has taken over as interim General Manager for the Philadelphia Flyers, changes are coming. They always are after a new GM takes over. Briere himself hinted that while there wouldn’t be a wholesale change over, some key changes will be happening in the off-season.
Jeff Marek addressed concerns about Carter Hart’s future with the Flyers, given the emergence of goaltender Samuel Ersson. If they’re going to go through a rebuild, Marek wondered what Hart could fetch on the trade market and if the 24-year-old netminder wants to spend the best seasons of his career with a rebuilding Flyers.
Hart has one more year left to his contract, carrying a cap hit of $3.98 million. He then become a RFA with arbitration rights.
Why not the Habs?
The Flyers want to rebuild on the run and there are many reasons why the Canadiens would be a great trade partner with them.
- The Habs’ cupboards are stacked with quality prospects, having drafted about 50 players since Marc Bergevin’s 2018 Reset, and 11 more in the upcoming NHL Draft. You can only sign so many…
- Hart has an affordable cap hit for next season and has yet to have a great season to justify a huge pay raise
- Standing at 6-foot 2-inches, he has good size
- He’s only 24 years of age, so close to coming into his own
- He grew up idolizing Carey Price, who is still under contract. Perhaps Price could help him out a bit?
My personal observation of Hart is that he is very mobile and athletic. He covers the bottom of the net very well. When he gets into trouble, it’s often because he tends to drop on his knees too quickly and doesn’t make himself big enough when in a butterfly position. A good goalie coach will get him to stand tall on his knees instead of crouching forward. Everything else, he has, including the talent to be a good franchise goalie.
Of all the names that have been thrown out there for potential young goaltenders for Canadiens’ trade targets, Carter Hart would be, by far, my favourite. My second favourite would be Flames’ prospect Dustin Wolf.
The Prices Move Back To BC – An Insight
By JD Lagrange – It doesn’t take much in Montreal to make a big deal out of very little. When Carey Price’s wife Angela posted on her Instagram account that the family would be selling their home in Montreal to move back to their Kelowna, British Columbia residence, at the end of the school year, everyone knew it was coming. It was just a confirmation of what she had said months ago, but that didn’t prevent traditional media to present it as news.
But why is that? Carey missed all but the last 5 games last season, and suffered another major setback trying to return. He has yet to put on skates this year and will not be returning this season. If it wasn’t for insurance companies being so finicky at looking for loopholes not to pay monies owed (they’re better at collecting premiums), Price would likely announce that he won’t be returning, his knee preventing him to do his job. But no, he has to play the insurance game and tip-toe around like a criminal sneaking around a house at night while the occupants are sleeping.
Some people are playing the card of the offended virgin because Price still has three years remaining to his contract. In their mind, Price should be tied to lamp post in Montreal for those three years, even if he’s not playing. Of course, it’s easy to have an opinion on what someone else should do with their life as it doesn’t affect them. Guess what? If he was playing, it would be a non-issue. But those people ignore the fact that his career is done. No contract can and will tie anyone in one City when off-duty.
In addition, he is not getting paid by the team, as some claim. He’s paid by the long-term disability insurance company. I have been on disability in the past and my employer wasn’t paying me. It was Sun Life that issued me the payments. In Price’s case, the only handicap to the Canadiens is that they must put him on LTIR. But that wouldn’t change if he was in Montreal, Kelowna, Seattle or Hong Kong!
Family and lifestyle
Further, those of you who have children may understand the importance of family. Carey and Angela’s parents and relatives are all in British Columbia and in Washington State, about 5,000 kilometers away. For some of you, that doesn’t hit home. For others like myself, I understand. My father didn’t get to see his grand-kids grow up because I moved to BC. Whether you want to accept this as a reason or not is irrelevant. Family is important to many people and the Price’s have strong family values. It’s a good thing.
Another aspect I can totally relate with Carey is that I know the difference between Quebec and BC when it comes to being an outdoorsman. Having spent the first 25 years of my life in Sherbrooke, I’ve been in BC for well over 30 years now and there is simply no comparison when it comes to outdoor activities between the two provinces. There is so much Crown Land in BC, it makes for amazing hunting and fishing without seeing other hunters or fisherman next to you, or having to bait game to come on private property. Like it or not, Carey is an outdoorsman and BC is not only his home, it’s the best place for outdoor activities.
This brings me to Patrick Roy, a man I used to idolize pre-1995, but whom I have since learned to despise by his own doing over the years. Never shying away from wanting the spotlight on himself, Roy made a lame attempt at backslapping Price. In a recent interview with BPM Sports, the former goaltender said: “I would rather retire than to say: ‘My leg hurts, pay me!‘”
This is so typical of that individual. The more I listen to him, the more I see of him, the happier I am that Geoff Molson didn’t make the monumental mistake of hiring him in a position of power with the Canadiens. Much like P.K. Subban who recently said that he would have taken $7 million to stay in Montreal – although he held out at camp to get his $9 million contract – Roy is an hypocrite. No, Patrick, no one believes that you would have left $23.5 million on the table to retire “because your knee hurts”. What arrogance also in downplaying the seriousness of Price’s injury, going as far as questioning his character…
Why doesn’t Price retire? Here’s why:
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So fans and media can bellyache all they want, the Price’s decision of moving back to BC should come at no surprise. I’ll go further in saying that anyone with any family value and common sense will understand and even support the Price family in their decision. They will remember that Carey, much like Shea Weber and Paul Byron, permanently damaged their bodies in a heroic attempt to bring Stanley Cup number 25 to the City of Montreal. Their only “failure” was to come up short against a good team $18 million over the cap.
But rest assured, Carey and Angela, this man understands you, as do most Habs’ fans. And we support your decision. Thank you again for who you are, what you stand for, and for what you have done for this franchise and your generosity in Montreal. We only wish, like you, that you could have been better supported during your career with some offensive skills, and got your Cup with the Canadiens. See you when your jersey gets retired… or somewhere in BC.
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