ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA | MONTREAL, QC. — The news of the Montreal Canadiens leaving Carey Price off their protection list was puzzling to the entire hockey world. This story and it’s various twists and turns continues to dominate the headlines.
Bergevin – Francis don’t see eye-to-eye
Canadiens fans may have been surprised that Carey Price was left unprotected but so were management staff of the Seattle Kraken. According to Elliotte Freidman, Kraken personnel “knew it was possible but they didn’t believe that it was going to happen.”
Friedman believes that Marc Bergevin was asked for a second round pick and a prospect for Seattle’s assurance that they would not take Jake Allen in the expansion draft. Bergevin refused and only half-heartedly made a few calls to find a trade for Allen.
When Bergevin returned to the conversation to advise Seattle that he wouldn’t pay the demand, he was told that the condition was firm. As reported by Friedman, Bergevin flippantly said that he would protect Allen and expose Price. The response he received was ‘do it then.’
It would appear that the Canadiens were convinced that Carey Price’s contract would be a sufficient deterrent to keep the Kraken from selecting the elite goaltender. Seattle was undaunted and said that they were seriously considering the option of selecting Price.
It was not the first time that Marc Bergevin underestimated an organization’s ability to finance large contracts. Bergevin was certain that he was going to land restricted free agent Sebastian Aho back in 2019 but Carolina easily matched the tepid offer sheet.
It’s a hefty contract to be sure, but I’m told the Seattle Kraken are taking a deep dive internally on whether or not to take Carey Price in the expansion draft. My guess is they don’t in the end, but I do think there’s a better chance of it than I first thought. Intriguing.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 18, 2021
That led to the Canadiens next move in this very risky game. They leaked information about Carey Price’s medical situation to the media suggesting that lingering injuries in his hip and knee could require surgery. This could jeopardize Price’s availability for the start of the 2021-22 season for up to eight weeks, possibly longer.
Seattle owners give green light
Despite the Canadiens attempt to scare the Kraken away from Carey Price, the team continued to perform it’s due diligence sifting through all of the medical reports. Seattle ownership has given full approval to proceed with the selection of Price if GM Ron Francis and his advisors believe he is the right choice.
This story continues to evolve and percolate. I’m told as #SeaKraken continue to investigate Price’s injuries, ownership has given hockey ops the full green light to select Price if Francis sees fit – health concerns and all. There is zero doubt they’re considering it. https://t.co/3DrIYxLO3b
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 19, 2021
As Elliotte Friedman reported, the Kraken have just witnessed Carey Price have an unbelievable performance in the Canadiens playoff run. If they can get Price healthy and playing like that again, how can they not select Price?
Price would bring “instant credibility”
During a Twitter question and answer, former NHL goaltender and hockey analyst Mike McKenna offered his opinion on whether the Kraken will select Carey Price.
They have to consider Price. He brings instant credibility & a fear factor for opponents. If Seattle truly believes they can contend for a Cup in the next 2-3 years, then absolutely Price is very attractive.
Kahkonen is the only goalie that jumps out at me on the list otherwise https://t.co/zrERBqbKIC
— Mike McKenna (@MikeMcKenna56) July 18, 2021
Kraken close in on Driedger
While Canadiens fans wait to find out what Seattle will do with Carey Price, the Kraken are getting closer to finalizing a deal with pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Chris Driedger. Elliotte Freidman reported that the contract will be $3.5 million per season for three years.
Friedman added that the Driedger contract would not preclude the Kraken from selecting Carey Price. Driedger and Price are both represented by player agent Gerry Johansson.
Habs interested in Hoffman
St Louis Blues beat reporter Andy Strickland reports that the Canadiens have an interest to rekindle talks with pending unrestricted free agent Mike Hoffman. The Blues would like to re-sign the 31-year-old forward. Hoffman recorded 17 goals, 19 assists for 36 points in 52 games for St. Louis last season.
Expect Montreal to pick talks back up from last off-season with Mike Hoffman. Chose to sign with #stlblues over the #Gohabsgo even tho Montreal offered close to a million more dollars. STL has expressed interest in bringing him back.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) July 19, 2021
It’s reported that Marc Bergevin aggressively pursued Hoffman last off-season offering him almost a million more in salary than he received from St. Louis. Hoffman signed a one-year contract with the Blues worth $4 million on January 11, 2021.
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