MONTREAL, QC. — Marc Bergevin held both the media and fans in suspense all afternoon as a rumoured 1:00 p.m. press conference by the Montreal Canadiens’ general manager was delayed to 4:30 p.m. then 5:00 p.m. before eventually starting a little past 5:30 p.m. EST. The wait was worth it for most as Bergevin announced that the Canadiens had just signed Carey Price to a six-year contract extension, whose financial terms we would later learn average out to $6,500,000 per season, for the next six seasons. The contract breakdown is as follows (courtesy of @reporterchris.)
|Years||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6||Cap Hit|
This contract means that Carey Price now becomes the Montreal Canadien who was awarded the highest contract in team history. (Gomez makes more money but his contract was not given to him by the Canadiens)
Carey Price Press-Conference
Carey Price had his own press conference a little after 7:00 p.m. and had the following to say:
When asked about how the negotiations went:
“Negotiations were smooth, it was pretty easy.”
When asked about his views on the summer overall:
“It’s been an interesting summer to watch. It’s been pretty cool.”
When asked about how he feels about the contract and vote of confidence from the Canadiens:
“It’s an honor to come back and have the vote of confidence from the organization.”
When asked about the pressure that comes with the big contract:
“There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on us no matter what we make.”
When asked about the term of his contract in comparison to others like Jonathan Quick and his ten-year deal:
“Six years made sense to me, hoping to have a good renegotiation when I’m 30.”
“Now I can just focus on the goal of winning a Stanley Cup, not signing a contract every year.”
When asked about the Canadiens’ recent acquisitions Brandon Prust and Francis Bouillon:
“I haven’t met Prust yet but I’ve heard great things about him; great team guy. Glad to have Boo back, solid value in front of me.”
“It’s nice to see that we’ll have a lot of the same players around. Good for chemistry.”
When asked about the negotiation process:
“I let my agent do his work, the GM do his job. I understood the reason behind the arbitration. I wasn’t too concerned.”
When asked about his goaltender coach Pierre Groulx:
“Pierre Groulx really understands my game, knows when to push me and when to lay off. He really knows me off the ice too.”
When asked about his recent conversations with general manager Marc Bergevin:
“I haven’t had the chance to talk with [Bergevin] yet. I’m trying to spend time with my family.”
Carey Price not only becomes the highest paid Montreal Canadien with this new contract, he also becomes the fifth highest paid goaltender in the NHL, on par with Ilya Bryzgalov’s $6,500,000 contract in Philadelphia. Here are the currently top-10 paid goaltenders in the NHL:
Price, just like the team as a whole will now try to improve on last season’s performance, who saw them finishing last in the Eastern Conference, 14 points out of eight place. Price finished the season with a record of 26-28-11, a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.43, a Save Percentage (Sv%) of 0.916 and four shutouts.
His numbers were down from the previous season (2010-11) where he finished with a record of 38-28-6, a GAA of 2.35, a Sv% of 0.923 and eight shutouts. Some believe he didn’t have a good season, while others like myself believe he actually did fairly well, given what he and the team had to deal with last season, with the injuries, management changes and team just generally falling apart in front of him.
In either case, I do believe today’s contract given to Carey Price is a great investment for the Montreal Canadiens. They have their number one goalie locked in for the next six years, until he’s 30 years old, and there’s no other goalie in the NHL right now I’d rather see in Montreal. Only 24 years of age, Price is still two years away from what many consider to be the prime age for goaltenders to reach maturity (26), and I feel this six-year contract protects their future at the goaltending position.
Just look at how much success the New Jersey Devils had over the last 18 seasons by keeping their number one goalie in place. It provided a security that enabled the team to never have to worry about finding a suitable goaltender, because they already had one. Brodeur gave the Devils a winning record in 17 of those 18 seasons, helping them into the playoffs in 14 of those seasons and winning three Stanley Cups. It’s much too early in Carey Price’s career to compare him to Martin Brodeur, so don’t get a mixed message by my last comment, but I do believe the situations can be compared, and that the Canadiens for now, are going about it the right way in Price’s case.
Those who know me well know i’m a big Carey Price fan, so some could believe that I am bias in my comments and opinion, but look at what independent goalie scout Justin Goldman (@TheGoalieGuild) had to say about Carey Price today following his contract signing:
“Price is one of the best damn goalies in the universe. You guys want me to explain the “CP31 Speed Bubble” I always talk about? The CP31 Speed Bubble is a trait that only he displays. It’s a mental awareness in which he moves at his own speed and his own pace regardless of the speed or the pace of the play around him. Regardless of what happens around him, he always moves and flows at HIS pace. So there you go. Price lives in a speed bubble, and this is why he looks so even-keeled, moves so effortlessly. He’s almost always unfazed. Fans often get disgruntled because he’ll look passive or “lazy” at times, but that comes with the territory of the CP31 Speed Bubble. Deal.”
With this contract, Bergevin can now concentrate on other contracts like P.K. Subban, Lars Eller and possibly/hopefully other missing pieces.
(Thanks to @habsgirl4life for providing me with all the quotes from the press conference)
(Photo: Canadian Press/Chris O’Meara, Stats: hockey-reference.com)