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- With a $5 M cap hit, Sergei Gonchar is one of the most expensive d-men in franchise history. The only ones higher are P.K. Subban ($9 M), Andrei Markov ($5.75 M), Mathieu Schneider ($5.75 M), and Roman Hamrlik ($5.5 M).
Why do I think the Habs should plan on acquiring Dominik Hasek as a backup for Carey Price?
Before you start subjectively ranting and raving about how this is not a good idea, I want you to hold onto those opinions and clearly think about this type of circumstance occurring from an objective point of view. First of all, Carey Price is a young, mature, and coachable NHL goaltender, who despite just turning 24 years old is just starting to scratch the surface of his prime and potential. He has just signed a 6 year contract extension, which will last until the age of 30. He has proven that he's a winner at the World Junior Championship level, at the AHL level as a Calder Cup Champion and earning the Jack Butterfield award in 2006-2007 season. He was on the NHL All-Rookie Team 2007-2008 and he has been named to play in the NHL All-Star Game each time since 2008-2009. The point I am clearly trying to make if it has not been apparent already is that he's not just a proven winner, but an established one as well. However, with the contract out of the way I strongly believe and think it's time for Carey Price to take the next step and establish himself as a night in night out winner who makes his opponents tremble and frustrates them by making them really earn their goals; only the best shot beats him, nothing else.
As such, this is where an established legend, future Hockey Hall of Famer, 2-time Stanley Cup Champion with a classy and elite Detroit Red Wings organization that breeds winners, and 6-time Vezina Trophy winner comes into play. For Price to get to the next level, I strongly believe having Hasek's personal and professional experience as an elite and premier NHL goaltender is critical at this stage of Price's career. Having Dominik as a back up provides the Habs, in my mind with the most important ingredient for a recipe for a Stanley Cup winning team, a goaltender with a burning desire to win it all which my favourite player in the history of the game St. Patrick aka - Patrick Roy had and which I know that Dominik Hasek has. Through Hasek's presence on and off the ice, Carey will gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to augment himself to a higher standard of play. He will also learn from a person who is passionate about "winning" and that is so transparent when considering that at the age of 42 he earned his second Stanley Cup championship and in the process earned the William M. Jennings Trophy for (lowest goals against). Another important point to consider is that Price will learn from a person who even at the age of 47 has a burning desire to play to win the game because if you look at it, what does the "Dominator" need to prove. He has won multiple Stanley Cups, Olympic Gold, Hart/Vezina/William M. Jennings Trophies, played and dominated the best players in the world en route to a Hall of Fame career, and most importantly he has earned himself a lot financial flexibility throughout his career.
I want Marc Bergevin to sign Dominik Hasek, heck this organization that expects, demands, and is adamant on creating and constructing a winning culture needs to acquire Hasek, "a winner and Dominator," to accelerate his the growth and success of his five year plan to transform this 15th place team into an Eastern Conference powerhouse Stanley Cup contender. In addition, it isn't just Hasek's personal character and professional accolades that I believe make him a great fit as a back up for Carey, but I find that since Hasek's style of play was very stand up, it will mesh well with Price on how he can improve his goaltending stance because as we all have witnessed price's lateral movement from post to post is exceptional, he's very quick and athletic, and might I add "thorough-bredish." Now, I have talked about how this benefits Carey Price and the Habs, but not as much about how this will benefit "The Dominator," he benefits in many ways. Firstly, he's 47 years old and is at an age where from a hockey IQ standpoint has a wealth of knowledge that he can implement which suggests that he wants to become a "goaltending coach" sooner rather than later and what better young and up and coming goaltender would you want to coach and mentor than Carey Price. I certainly can't think of anyone else nor do I want to because of the maturation that I have seen from Carey's career thus far. Secondly, Hasek is from the Czech Republic, and Montreal has two other Czech-born players: Tomas Kaberle and Tomas Plekanec, the latter being one of the best two-way centres in the game and is almost nearing the halfway or approaching the end of his 6 year contract extension. I believe that timing wise it would be solid and a smooth move to acquire another of their countrymen as a sign that Mr. Bergevin is serious about winning and breeding a winning culture and organization that consistently goes out and finds "winning talent" regardless of what shape or form it is in. This is the kind "unorthodox move" that can influence Plekanec to remain as a leader on for the Canadiens for many years to come and sign another contract extension. Thirdly, Hasek gets the luxury of playing in the "Mecca of Hockey" in an environment that once adored one of the greatest players in the game "Vladislav Tretiak;" I see a lot of parallels between Hasek and Tretiak. I won't elaborate too much on it but I'll say this both when on their game which were a thrill to watch and exemplified that goaltending can be exciting in many different ways and when I think of the fans having the luxury of watching a goaltending tandem of a young superstar in Carey Price and a supreme Hall of Famer in Dominik Hasek, I get chills and can only imagine what the Bell Centre crowd would be like every regular season/playoff game would be electric because they would have the best goaltending tandem in the NHL.
In conclusion, I would get Hasek signed to a 2 year contract at most because it's a win-win for both sides.