Canadiens Sign Price

MONTREAL- APRIL 21:  Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens watches play in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on April 21, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Capitals defeated the Canadiens 6-2 taking a 3-1 lead in the series.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Montreal has re-signed their goaltender of the future present, inking Carey Price to a two-year deal worth $2.75 million per season.  The timing is interesting, coming as it does on the heels of the San Jose Sharks inking free agent (and Stanley Cup champion) goaltender Antti Niemi to a two-year, $2.0 million deal, and it made me wonder how the Price deal stacked up against other goaltenders signed this summer.


Goalie Status 09-10 SV% Term Cap Hit (MM)
Jaroslav Halak RFA 0.924 4 years 3.75
Carey Price RFA 0.912 2 years 2.75
Antti Niemi UFA 0.912 1 year 2.00
Antero Niittymaki UFA 0.909 2 years 2.00
Chris Mason UFA 0.913 2 years 1.85
Michael Leighton UFA 0.905 2 years 1.55
Johan Hedberg UFA 0.915 1 year 1.50
Dan Ellis UFA 0.909 2 years 1.50
Marty Turco UFA 0.913 1 year 1.30
Josh Harding RFA 0.905 1 year 1.20
Ondrej Pavelec RFA 0.906 2 years 1.15
Jeff Deslauriers RFA 0.901 1 year 1.05
Alex Auld UFA 0.895 1 year 1.00
Martin Biron UFA 0.896 2 years 0.88
Patrick Lalime UFA 0.907 1 year 0.65
Andrew Raycroft UFA 0.911 2 years 0.65


It’s a deal based on potential, because based on actual results it’s hard to see how Price sits ahead of players like Antti Niemi, Chris Mason, and Marty Turco.  Particularly given that those players have the ‘advantage’ of unrestricted free agency, which theoretically should put them in a better bargaining position.


Unique circumstances led the Canadiens to pay more than market value for Price.  Aside from his youth and the potential for improvement, Price has been tagged as the franchise’s next great net-minder since draft day, and given the way the team traded off Jaroslav Halak there’s good reason to think they believe in that hype – something that makes it less likely that they would play hardball with Price’s agent.


That said, barring a massive breakthrough, one would expect that San Jose, Atlanta and Chicago get better bang for their buck this year than Montreal does. 


Also, for perhaps the first time since the current system was introduced, restricted free agent goaltenders had an advantage over their unrestricted colleagues.