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.