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Montreal Canadiens Clear Cap Space For Carey Price’s Return

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have just cleared the cap space needed for goalie Carey Price to be activated onto the roster and play his first game of the season.

According to our friends at PuckPedia, the Montreal Canadiens just placed Jonathan Drouin on LTIR and as a result, the Habs just gained $5.5 million in cap space. Drouin recently underwent successful wrist surgery and was ruled out for the season this past Saturday. With Drouin and his $5.5 million cap hit off the books the Canadiens can now fit Price in under the cap and allow to play some games before the season ends on April 29.

The Montreal Canadiens have technically been playing over the $81.5 million NHL salary cap, thanks to the use of Long Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) space acquired by the unofficial retirement of Shea Weber and the season-long road to recovery of Price. Both their Cap Hits combined gave the Canadiens the ability to go over the Cap by $18.357 million. The Habs now have used up $8.3 million in player salary, which left them with $10M in Cap space left in their LTIR Relief Pool, but the problem was fitting in Price’s $10.5 million cap hit.

The issue was compounded a little further after Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki unlocked performance bonuses in their entry-level contracts to the value of $572,500, further lowering Montreal’s Cap Space to $9.482 million. Drouin heading to LTIR takes care of that as well though and now the question is, when will Carey Price’s first start since July 7, 2021 and Game 5 of the 2021 Stanley Cup final take place?

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Price is currently in Columbus with his teammates as they get set to face the Blue Jackets but was already ruled out for the Wednesday night game. The Montreal Canadiens will return home after that game and then kick off a four-game homestand with back-to-back games on Friday against the New York Islanders and then the Washington Capitals on Saturday. The Habs host the Minnesota Wild next Tuesday and the Philadelphia Flyers a week from Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Montreal Canadiens announced that goalie Jake Allen – along with defenceman Justin Barron – are out for the season. That leaves Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau, who was called up from the Laval Rocket on Monday as the current goalie tandem for the Habs but that could change soon if and when Price returns.

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