By Alex Plawutsky, Special to The Point Hockey
Carey Price is a principal asset in the Montreal Canadiens lineup. Their up-and-down season has followed his trend of on- and off-games. This brings the question: is he a trade asset? With the trade deadline nearing, it is hard to tell. This is Carey Price’s 13th season in Montreal and he deserves to stay.
The Montreal Canadiens are in a tough situation when it comes to the standings. It is not likely that they will make the playoffs: with 52 points in 54 games, Montreal is about ten points behind a playoff spot at this point in the season. This means they are likely to be selling players at the trade deadline in just about 3 weeks.
Carey Price is an extremely desirable player. His history of success and prime age, arguably, make him one of the valuable goaltenders in the world right now.
Hot & Cold
This season, however, has been full of hot and cold streaks for both Price and the team. Price’s performance has led the team to two six-game losing streaks, a six-out-of-eight-game winning streak and a four-game winning streak, all since the middle of November and with the defending staying mostly similar.
Price’s skills compiled with his large cap hit of 10.5 million per year for the next six years makes him only available to a few teams that have the cap space and money.
There are few options for GM Marc Bergevin to explore when it comes to trading Price. Such a large trade would not fall under the loaner category of trade, anyone to acquire him would need to be in it for the long run. It is unlikely that Bergevin wants Price to stay within the division too.
This leaves only a few eligible teams. These teams would need to fit some specific requirements. They would, mostly, need a number one goalie, be able to acquire the large cap that comes with Price, and have desirable trade assets for Montreal. Those trade assets being things that would fit the rebuilding structure of a team that just traded their star goalie, like a goalie in return, some draft picks and some top prospects.
A team that fits that the Canadiens have a trading history with are the Nashville Predators. Other teams that fit the requirements for the trade are the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Winnipeg Jets.
All of that said, it is ultimately unlikely that Carey Price will be traded. He is loved by fans and a longtime member of the organization. He stands to serve Montreal for many years to come.
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