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Last week, Carey Price signed a contract that was for the most money in
franchise history.  There’s no denying just how valuable and important he
is to the Canadiens but was a six year, $39 million deal the right way to go, or
would a smaller or longer one have been more beneficial?  Having had some
time to sit and ponder this, our writers offer up their thoughts on the

Kevin Beaumont: $6.5 million is a lot of dough. Still, when considering
Price’s value to the team – he is the undeniable MVP – coupled with the tax
situation in Quebec (in a southern market he would take home $500,000 or so more
dollars), the price seems pretty reasonable. Contract negotiations are often
based on the whole of a players statistics and do not reflect sudden lapses of
composure. The few times that Carey appeared to crumble under the pressure were
not as weighty as his NHL career win/loss record (124-104-35), save percentage
(.916) and goals against average (2.56) when having to decide on a figure. This
may also be a case of paying for potential. Although Price has never won a
trophy at the NHL level (besides the Molson Cup), he is one of the youngest
starting goaltenders in the league and arguably one of the best. All in all, the
six and a half could seem high now, but three or four years down the road may
appear as a bargain – let us hope so.

Brian La Rose: Although I’m not a big fan of long term deals, 6
years feels right.  It’s not a crazy double-digit term but at the same
time, it’s long enough that we won’t be talking about him possibly walking to
free agency in a couple of years.  I’m not too happy with the money though. 
When you consider the likely decrease in the salary cap, Price’s deal could be
taking upwards of 10% of the cap – I personally think a tandem should be making
10% at the most.  It’s not a cap-crippling overpay by any stretch (unless
he completely forgets how to play the position or hires Rick DiPietro’s personal
trainer) so it’s nothing to get too upset about and it solidifies an area where
there is absolutely nothing coming in the pipeline.  In fact, I wouldn’t be
surprised if the lack of depth argument was made somewhere in the talks by his
agent.  Price has long been thought of as the Habs’ franchise player. 
With this deal, any possible doubt has been removed.

Alex Létourneau:
Marc Bergevin got it right with Carey Price. Even though both camps were
positive about signing after season’s end, I like the fact that they put him
towards arbitration to really show the organization wanted to keep him and
wouldn’t entertain the idea of trading his rights or anything like that. The
length and term suit me fine. He’s among the elite goaltenders in the NHL and
had he been on a better team, his stats and contributions could probably have
pushed him into Vezina talk. He’s proved over the last two seasons that Bob
Gainey got something right when he called him a ‘thoroughbred’ and if he can put
in 65-70 games at the level he already has for the next six years, maybe the
drought will end. Bottom line, he’s slated by many pundits to raise his game to
a level higher than what we’ve seen. Turning 25 next month, he’s regarded as one
of the top goaltenders in the NHL and that comes at a price. Now let’s see what
the Canadiens build around him.

Norm Szcyrek: The signing of Price is a bit of a relief this
early in the off season, this time. Two seasons ago, the Habs and Price could
not come to terms on a contract until September, which made several fans wonder
about the future of their franchise player. Since then, he performed great in
his first season of that contract, then average for the second season. I say he
was average but temper it by saying the Habs record last season could have been
much worse if he was not their starting goalie. On the other hand, there were
few games last season that I can remember seeing where I thought Carey stole a
game for his team. Regardless, the length of the term is a little long and the
cost per season is a little high for my liking. I may be old fashioned but I
think it is too risky to link a team to any athlete for more than 5 seasons.
However if the new coaches can turn around this team and the team can better
support their goalie, then Price’s performance contract may seem like a relative

Mitchell Tierney: Carey Price is one of the top 5 goaltenders
in the world, bar none. But among those top goaltenders he may be the best
equipped to play in Montreal. Henrik Lundqvist is the notable exception to a top
5 goaltender list that would crack under the pressure of playing in one of
largest markets in international hockey. That is why both the term and the
number on the Carey Price contract is right. It is not by any means a bargain
for the Canadiens but Price could have asked for a lot longer at more money.
Long-term goaltending contracts like that signed recently by Conn Smythe Trophy
winner Jonathan Quick are dangerous at best. While this contract is significant
it isn’t incredibly damaging should Price not turn out to be the goaltender he
currently is in the future. This contract also leaves plenty of room to build a
team around Price, something that may have factored into the negotiations. In
conclusion, Carey Price’s contract was about right and Habs fans should be happy
that their franchise player is locked up long term.