Monday, 2 July 2012

Carey Price signs a new contract with the Canadiens

Carey Price signed his big contract today, which takes him from the Restricted Free Agent second contract phase of his career into the Unrestricted years.  His contract will pay him an average of $6.5 million a season, starting at $5.5 million next season, and rising to 6.5, 6.75, then $7 million for three seasons.

There will be a lot of detractors who will question this signing, and howl that he's being overpaid while having achieved nothing yet, but it's hard to argue that he's not being paid the market rate for a goalie of his pedigree, stature and ability.  His salary and cap hit puts him in the neighbourhood of  Pekka Rinne, Henrik Lundquist, Roberto Luongo, Cam Ward and Ilya Bryzgalov among others, which is entirely appropriate according to Mitch Melnyk of TSN Radio in Montreal, who bases this on his conversations with every scout he ever talks to who agrees that Carey Price is elite and much better than Jaro Halak.

Unfortunately, Carey Price will always be compared to Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy and Jaroslav Halak by Canadiens fans, rather than Ryan Miller or Marc-André Fleury. Carey can never replicate the rookie success of Messrs Dryden and Roy, but he can go on a playoff tear and at least silence the ‘he’s no Halak’ volleys.  Fortunately for us, Carey’s pretty chill, so he looks like he will be able to ignore the significant minority that won’t ever be satisfied.
One facet of his game is that he is technically sound and large to the shooter, so his game isn’t as relentlessly spectacular as Jaro’s. Sure, he’ll make some acrobatic saves as the highlights show, but for him a 30-40 save game might yield one or two gems, with the rest being the product of good positioning, compared to Jaro in the 2009 run where every second save was a miracle.

So we paid the going rate for a topflight goalie approaching his peak years. The Leafs would have paid that and more and Brian Burke’s left testicle, except they can’t, but they wish they could. We have our goalie, we’re keeping him, duh, winning...

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