One day after wrapping up their season, the Habs were packing up for the summer while making their final media appearances. Here’s a rundown of the notable news.
Both GM Kent Hughes and interim head coach Martin St. Louis expressed a mutual willingness to get a new deal in place. However, no discussions on that front have been held yet.
Meanwhile, St. Louis indicated that he doesn’t foresee any changes for the coaching staff. Alex Burrows and Luke Richardson still have two years left on their contracts while the length of the deals for assistant coach Trevor Letowski and goalie coach Eric Raymond isn’t known.
Hughes indicated that the expectation remains that Weber will not be able to return. However, he was unable to get into specifics, citing insurance issues that he’s not at liberty to discuss. (If you’re wondering why Weber hasn’t had media availability this season, this would be why.) Weber still has four years remaining on his contract and going back to the trade deadline, Hughes acknowledged he had been trying to find a trade partner to clear the deal off Montreal’s books.
Hughes stated that Price’s knee still hasn’t fully recovered. On its own, it didn’t sound like much. Then when Price spoke, that changed. The veteran acknowledged that if things didn’t change, he didn’t think he’d be able to continue playing and that he prepared for Friday’s game thinking it could be his last.
Price certainly isn’t ruling out playing again. He noted that surgery is an option and that there’s more testing to go and that he’s a fighter that isn’t giving up. However, he acknowledged his days of handling a starter’s workload have likely come to an end.
If Price is unable to return for next season, his situation would mirror that of Weber’s in that he’d head to long-term injury reserve with the Canadiens then being able to go over the cap by up to his AAV of $10.5 million to bring in a replacement player. If he does try to come back or play in more of a backup role, however, their hands will largely be tied.
A few players indicated that they were invited to play at the upcoming World Championships – Brendan Gallagher (Canada), Nick Suzuki (Canada), and Cole Caufield (USA). Those invites were all declined. Gallagher, who also stated his desire to stay with Montreal, cited lingering health issues that carried over from the playoffs last year, Suzuki has been dealing with a back issue, while Caufield is healthy but wants to rest up. This was his first full professional season with the biggest workload of his career in terms of games played.
Petry didn’t exactly publicly rescind his trade request but he opened the door for that possibility, stating that he “doesn’t want to close the door on the organization and the team”. If a trade winds up happening, Hughes stated that he would be looking to bring in another veteran to take his place on the back end.
Price’s injury situation wasn’t the only notable one of the day. Byron acknowledged his hip still isn’t 100% nor will it be while he suffered some torn muscles due to overcompensating. He also stated that if he doesn’t recover this summer, he’ll have a tough decision to make; that’s not exactly promising for his future.
Alexander Romanov hasn’t started talks on a new contract with the team but the pending restricted free agent stated a desire to stay in Montreal as long as he can. Following last night’s game, Romanov was named the recipient of the annual Jacques Beauchamp-Molson trophy, beating out Samuel Montembeault and Jake Evans in the voting.
Jonathan Drouin will be ready to return by training camp after undergoing wrist surgery. He indicated the injury occurred in Vegas back in January but he tried to avoid undergoing surgery during the season until he was unable to grip his stick.
Jake Allen is “feeling really good” after missing the last three weeks of the season with a groin injury. With Price’s situation being uncertain, next year will be a big one for the veteran who will be entering the final year of his contract.