We won’t find out who is officially on Montreal’s protection list for the upcoming expansion draft until Sunday but according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic, Carey Price has elected to waive his no-move clause, allowing the Habs to protect Jake Allen from the Kraken.
It appears to be a calculated gamble from the Canadiens who haven’t hidden that they’d like to keep Allen around. While Price is coming off a strong showing in the playoffs as he helped lead Montreal to the Stanley Cup Final while posting a 2.28 GAA and a .924 SV%, the fact remains that the 33-year-old has five years left on his contract with a $10.5M cap hit, the highest in NHL history.
Does an expansion team want someone that expensive on the books in goal? (Especially since they’re expected to sign Chris Driedger during the upcoming negotiation window.) Price and the Habs are clearly banking on the answer being no. And with Price being owed an $11M signing bonus in September, that’d be quite the immediate payment for the Kraken to have to make. Of course, Seattle could try to flip Price elsewhere although they’ll have the no-move protection to contend with as the waiving is just for the draft and will be fully intact afterwards.
Price’s reported waiving of the clause will allow Allen to stay in the fold. The Habs signed the 30-year-old to a two-year extension shortly after acquiring him last offseason, one that saw him take a sizable pay cut from $4.35M per year to $2.875M, an above-market price tag to a below-market one for a strong backup. Clearly, they wanted to ensure he’d stick around but his cap hit made him the likely target for Seattle if he was to be made available.