ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA | MONTREAL, QC. — After several agonizing days for Habs fans, the Seattle Expansion Draft is finally here. While the Kraken may not select the preferred player, at the very least, fans will have an answer. That said, depending on the player chosen, the emotional pain may continue for quite some time.
Will Price be selected by the Kraken?
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that Seattle general manager Ron Francis has had several conversations with Carey Price‘s agent Gerry Johannson. While the content of those conversations is unknown, it should be one further indicator that the Kraken are indeed seriously interested in Price and are doing their due diligence.
LeBrun believes that Seattle may wait until the last moment to make an offer to the Canadiens not to take Carey Price. The final list of 30 names of selected by the Kraken is due to the NHL by Wednesday morning at 10 am. ET.
Will Carey Price be on hand in Seattle when the names of the Kraken players are read starting at 8 pm. ET? We do not know. But Price will be in New York City on Thursday meeting with a specialist about his injured knee and hip.
Seattle owners have made up their minds
ESPN reporter Greg Wyshynski said that he believes the Kraken will select Carey Price. Wyshynski said, “I know for sure that the (Seattle) owners want [to choose Price.] They are infatuated with the idea of seeing Price’s name on the back of the Kraken jerseys they’ll start selling tomorrow night.
Just because the owners have voiced their opinion, it doesn’t mean that it is a done deal. Wyshynski explained that the hockey operations department still has to come to their own conclusions. The Kraken department of Research and Development within Hockey Operations will also be contributing to the decision.
Who does CH brass believe will be selected?
Elliotte Friedman believes that the decision on Carey Price is too close to call. From the Canadiens perspective management believes that the Kraken will select a defenceman from their roster, either Brett Kulak or Cale Fleury.
Can Allen handle the load?
If Carey Price is selected by the Seattle Kraken can Jake Allen handle the load as the Canadiens number one goaltender? We hear the often repeated talking point that Allen was responsible for getting Montreal to the playoffs, but is that true?
Objectively, no it’s not.
For a period of seven-and-a-half weeks in the Canadiens season (February 7th to March 31st), Jake Allen went without a win. From the date that Dominique Ducharme took over behind the bench until the end of the regular season, Allen played in 22 games but won only seven contests with a 2.86 goals against average (GAA) and a .898 save percentage (Sv%).
It’s fair to say that it was a set of brilliant performances in the month of March by Carey Price that went a long way to securing the Canadiens playoff spot. In nine starts, Price went 6-1-2 in March with a 1.87 GAA and a .931 Sv%, a preview of the sparkling performances that would follow in the playoffs.
Ristolainen is on the short list
With Marc Bergevin on the search to find a replacement for Shea Weber, the Canadiens may be interested in Sabres defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen. While Ristolainen may not be top D-man on Bergevin’s short list, Pierre LeBrun reported that both the Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets have checked in with Buffalo general manager Kevyn Adams about Ristolainen.
The 26-year-old Ristolainen recorded four goals, 14 assists for 18 points in 49 games for the Sabres last season. Ristolainen has one more year left on his contract at $5.4 million.
Habs interested in Beauvillier
It’s clear that the Canadiens need to add offence from the forwards. The Fourth Period reports that Marc Bergevin has reached out to the New York Islanders to determine the availability of winger Anthony Beauvillier. The 24-year-old is a pending restricted free agent just ending a season where he was paid $2.1 million.
Beauvillier recorded 15 goals, 13 assists for 28 points in 47 games in the 2020-21 season.
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