CBC’s Elliotte Friedman Says It’s Time To Trade Price

Time for Canadiens to consider trading Price

January 25, 2010 11:31 AM | Posted by   Elliotte Friedman

Last week, one of my 30 thoughts concerned the Montreal goaltending battle. I asked a scout about Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price. He said that if Halak was made available, 10 teams would be interested. If Price was made available, everyone makes a pitch.

Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh, questioned that. So, minutes after Price gave up an ugly OT winner to Andy McDonald last Wednesday night (a game I attended), I asked another scout for his take. After thinking about it for a few seconds, he grimaced and said, “I’d take Price.”

And that is why it’s time for the Montreal Canadiens to trade him.

Franchise goalie

I can understand Bob Gainey’s reluctance. You can see Price’s potential. He’s still only 22. Somewhere in there is the goalie who stoned the U.S. in that famous world junior shootout, then won the Calder Cup in his first two months as a professional.

Also, Price has the size advantage over Halak, and the trend in net now is go big or go home. Look at Marty Turco. He still has incredible passion and desire to play. But, the biggest criticism is that he’s too small. Next year, equipment is to be regulated by the size of the goalie. That’s not good for him.

Gainey could be sending a franchise goalie somewhere else. There’s no worse feeling for a GM.

Still, there is one major thing in Halak’s favour: right now, he is better than Price and gives Montreal more of a chance to win. That should be reason number one. But there are some other considerations, too.

No matter what everyone says about these two guys making the best of it, it’s a bad situation. They both want to be number one, and, what’s worse, each believes they should be number one. When you have a young goaltender feeling his way through his first starting job, he needs an experienced backup (who understands their role) to help with the bad times. These guys don’t have that, and other guys who know a heckuva lot more than me think it has hurt Price’s development.

Price would get full value

Also, Gainey was uncharacteristically outgoing about offering Halak to Philadelphia. There were also discussions with Dallas. Who knows how many others were approached. The fact Halak is still in les bleus-blanc-et-rouge tells us the Canadiens are not being offered enough. Do you think they get lowballed for Price? No way.

Gainey could hold a silent auction. Maybe someone has to take another salary with him. Maybe he gets two or three players or picks. At least, there are some nice options.

Both goalies are restricted free agents after this season, and it’s really hard to determine either man’s value. This allows Montreal to really understand what it has in Halak. Is he a legit number one? He looks like he could be, but nothing answers the question better than starting 25 games in a run for the playoffs.

Most importantly, the organization has to face the possibility that Price simply will not develop here. Look at highlights from three years ago and compare them to now. He simply isn’t the same confident guy. He’s on his second goalie coach, and needs a fresh start.

It would be good for him. It’s a risk, but the return would also be good for Montreal.

24 thoughts on “CBC’s Elliotte Friedman Says It’s Time To Trade Price”

  1. Yes, but Dennis, what do you think?

    In your paste haste, you also missed Elliotte’s crazy ramblings in 30 thoughts. At one point he seems to suggest the Bruins might bend over backwards to trade a goaltender of Vezina calibre to the Leafs if they’d also accept a hight draft pick. I guess that would be a change on the team usually bent over in that twosome.

    In any case. Trading Price now? Apart from bringing in readers, there’s no reason to print this at the moment. Price’s value isn’t going to fall drastically, nor is it on a precipice at a high. Gainey can wait all he wants…


  2. First, Topham, it wasn’t paste haste, it was simply zeroing in the topic I wanted to zero in on. I have no interest in Friedman’s entire 30 thoughts. Secondly, I put this out for people who may not see it somewhere else because I feel it’s interesting, nothing more, nothing less. Thirdly, me putting this up isn’t about bringing in readers, it’s about putting out Habs news, and from time to time I’ll paste what I think is an interesting piece from someone in the mainstream media such as Friedman. And what do I think? I think they still have to be patient with the young fellow.
    And last but not least, I never tell other bloggers what they should put out and I don’t expect others, you included, to tell me.

  3. Hey Dennis;God rebuttal my man,this guy has no right to tell you just what you can say and where.I think Elliot is looking for readers far more then anybody else.If you were looking for readers maybe run a poll as to where a name like topham comes from,I can think of some beautties

  4. I didn’t mean to tell you what to put up, merely to point out the funny Leafs imagining that went on later. I know you’ve had a good time knocking the Leafs and thought you might again.

    Patience. Ah, I thought so. And I think that in your divergence from Friedman you are probably right.

    If the trade value was high, which I don’t believe, what would you think of a trade. How high? How about in the high draft pick range of things at a different position…

  5. God, I hate to admit it but I share McGuire’s opinion on this. What is wrong with having two good young goaltenders? I also don’t get the Price vs Halak camp. I only care about winning games, I don’t care who’s nets. Right now Halak is the more consistant of the two. On the other hand, now that the team is playing better overall, I’d throw Price in there for one of the Florida games and so how he fares.

  6. Topham’s my name, my friend. It comes from my father. I’d be delighted to hear your theories. I’m sure I’ve heard them all before.

    I apologise to Dennis, I didn’t know how it came across. I wanted to know what he thought, as I’d read the piece and Dennis’ opinion is usually more thoughtful than most on the Habs.

  7. And Dennis, it was my post haste that caused this confusion. I completely understand the way everyone else reads it.

    I refer to Elliotte publishing now. It was vague and a poorly constructed thought. Thanks for going light on this transgressor…

  8. Originally, Topham, I might have said we need a big forward who can score goals, speaks French, and is a proven star. But now Benoit Pouliot gives me hope he can somehow fit this bill. I know it’s a tall order, but Pouliot is showing some promising things. Draft picks can be crapshoots so if I go that way, I need more than one high pick. I was talking to a trucker today who’s a Habs fan and he said Price continues to make him nervous. I’m guessing general managers are nervous too and wouldn’t want to shell out a lot. Price is still so young, 22, and being a goalie in Montreal is such a big thing. We need patience, I think. At least one more year.

  9. I haven’t read all your comments but I disagree with the commentator. I think the solution to Mtl is for Price to get vocal and publicly accept the backup role and embrace it. He needs to teel the public he has lots to learn. Halak has earned it for now. Let him play. Price! Mature up and stop thinking you;re the second coming of Ken Dryden (not yet anyways). Try to learn from Halak. Your teammates would appreciate this. I think both goalies should feel fortunate for being in their position. Lets hope maturity steps up and end all this nonsense. Mtl would be weaker I think if a trade happened.

  10. My apologies as well Topham,i kinda jumped when i saw your post and thought you were taking a shot at Dennis.The Habs are a way of life for their fans,we like to stick together.

  11. I think Montreal and Gainey are in a damned if they do, damned if they don’t situation. Without knowing what’s being offered in trade and the salary demands from each player it’s impossible to say which way to go.

    My preference would be to have two dominating goalies and to play them about equally. However Price has to pull a bit more of his weight to merit equal time. He did look genuinely congratulatory after Halak’s recent wins.

    The problem with keeping Price in Montreal is that he’s young and convention says he needs to play consistency to improve. Maybe he too needs to accept a reconditioning stint in Hamilton.

    There were old rumours that if Halak isn’t #1, he may take KHL a offer rather than re-sign with Montreal. Recently he seems more accepting of whatever role Martin gives him.

  12. All well and good, but the unknown factor is the trouble. What if Price turns out to be the next Roy, Dryden or Brodeur after being traded. That is the worrisome part of it all.

  13. It is always possible that Price may never reach his potential playing in the fishbowl that is Montreal. Maybe Bob would be doing Price a favor by trading him rather than Halak.
    I like Price, like Halak too, I have no favorite as far as the 2 of them go. I say trade the one who gives you the best value in return. If that is Price then so be it. I`d rather see Price do well in Atlanta than continue to flounder in Montreal.
    As far as the idea that Price will come back to haunt us well, that might be so, but like I said, better that then he never gets to play to his top abilities, don`t ya think?

  14. And that’s the problem, Puckgone – we don’t know at all if Price will ever be good in Montreal. Fans still wonder how he’ll play when it’s announced that he’ll be dressing, and often he lets in soft goals. Other times he shows what he can be. He’s just so young and we all know goalies can take a while sometimes to mature in this position. I believe we need to give him another season to really see.

  15. With the exception of a few ,young goalies take time to mature.I say hang onto the both of them,part of the maturing process is learning from your mistakes and watching others .arey Price needs to mature a little more,Jaroslav Halak also needs this as well.

  16. Since Halak’s first run of consecutive starts, Price has been playing at a higher level than ever. His confidence in net is much better. Outside of that, you make points that I agree with.

    And outside the net; Price seems to be doing worse than in previous months. He is not handling the competitive situation in the same way as Halak. That isn’t necessarily bad but it’s certainly not good. Pro teams have dealt with frustrated athletes externalizing before.

    But his teammates may only put up with so much. He’ll get the chance to correct this behaviour. Right or wrong, the better the athletic upside, the more a team will work with a guy.

    In the short run, Halak may be better but in the long run it will probably be Price.

    There are many busts and exceptions; Tony Mandarich, Ryan Leaf and Darrell Russell come to mind. But some guys only thrive when they leave for a new situation; Testaverde, Plunkett and Latendresse come to mind.

    It’s a tough call and much harder to make without the day-to-day information.

    Good job with getting as much information as you could on this article. Were they Eastern scouts?

  17. Tough call for Gainey with these two goalies.Halak is playing well right now and they need to make a run for the playoffs.Go with the hot goalie as long as you can and see where we are at the trade deadline,if we are close make a choice and run with it,Vokoun might look good in a Montreal uniform.I’m sure Florida would like to have one of our young goaltenders on their roster.

  18. Hi Michael. It is a tough call. I just think, like you, that we continue with the guy going good, but I also feel we let Price grow at his own speed, at least for another year. If, in a year, not much has changed, then deal him. I’m not so sure he has really high market value, although Friedman says he does. I know I’m a little nervous when he starts.

  19. After Price and Halak, Habs have NO goalie depth.

    Missiaen, Mayer, Simila…they’re ways off and right now don’t even show much capabilities of being a number 1 on their respected junior/echl team. (Simila just went back to Finland too). And if you say “Cedrick Desjardins” you don’t watch the Bulldogs. He would be destroyed on this team at this level behind this defence…

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