Wednesday, 9 May 2012

How will contract negotiations between the Canadiens and Carey Price go?

Do the lack of results obtained by Ilya Bryzgalov and Pekka Rinne weaken Carey Price’s bargaining position, or is it the converse, that Martin Brodeur’s steady play and body of work strengthens his agent’s hand as he shoots for a long-term deal for his client?

I guess what I’m wondering about is what’s the zeitgeist now in the league as we prepare to negotiate Carey’s new contract. Two summers ago, apparently the thinking was that you didn’t need elite goaltending to win, since the Hawks had won the Cup with unheralded Antti Niemi, and subsequently walked away from him after his July arbitration award was too rich for their liking. It seems the market was deflated, as the Canadiens got less than impressive returns for trading playoff hero Jaroslav Halak.
Last summer, the mindset seemed to perform a complete 180. Pekka Rinne gets an outlandish contract from the Preds, based more on his physical tools and potential than actual production. The Flyers cave and finally buy their frontline goalie with an even more outrageous contract, which is proving as reckless as it first appeared in July.
So where are we at this summer? 2010 groove, where the going rate is deflated, and we believe that in the right situation (Kevin Hitchcock, Dave Tippet, Jacques Martin) any goalie gets the job done? Or 2011, where the goaltenders are King, and back their trucks up to the bank vault and help themselves?

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