Connect with us

Canadiens Analysis

How The Canadiens Are Influenced By Carey Price’s LTIR Contract



Montreal Canadiens Carey Price

Now that the Montreal Canadiens have signed Alex Newhook and Rafael Harvey-Pinard to reasonable contract extensions, they have a relatively healthy amount of salary cap space heading into the 2023-24 season.

As it stands, general manager Kent Hughes will have roughly $8.8 million in available funds, which should be more than enough to absorb at least one bad contract from a team that’s desperately attempting to alleviate their salary cap concerns.

MUST READ: Updated Projected Montreal Canadiens Lineup And Salary Cap Outlook

Given that salary cap space is one of the hottest commodities in the NHL, Hughes and Co. should have a long line of suitors when it comes to trade offers that involve trade assets heading back to the Canadiens alongside an expiring contract, much like the Calgary Flames did when they traded Sean Monahan and a first-round pick to the Habs in return for future considerations.

But the nearly $9 million in cap space the team will have to work with isn’t as appealing as one would expect.

Non-Accrued Funds

The main reason the Canadiens have available salary cap space has to do with the $10.5 million in salary relief the team will receive once they put Carey Price on the long-term injured reserve.

The LTIR funds will allow the Canadiens to exceed the salary cap, but they are not added funds, in the sense that the Canadiens will have an extra $10.5 million in salary cap expenditures.

They simply provide relief once a team has reached the upper limit of the salary cap.

It’s a very complicated subject, and I encourage everyone to visit the LTIR FAQ provided by CapFriendly, but simply put, the relief funds will not accrue throughout the season.

For example, if a team starts the season with $5 million in salary cap space, that number will grow throughout the season. However, for the Canadiens, the number will remain fixed, as LTIR funds do not accrue.

Finding a New Home

As it stands, the Canadiens will have a rather hard time finding a new home for Price’s contract, at least compared to some of the other dead contracts that have been moved around in the NHL.

Of course, as per usual, the team is likely to look toward the Arizona Coyotes, but the manner in which Price’s contract is structured will make things rather difficult for Hughes.

Price’s contract carries an annual average value of $10.5 million, but a significant portion of the deal involves hefty signing bonuses every year.

For example, in 2023-24 Price’s contract has a $10.5 million cap hit, but the Canadiens had to pay him $6.5 million on July 1 in the form of a signing bonus.

That amount must be paid in full and in cash, which is something a team like the Canadiens has no issue doing due to their rather deep pockets, but isn’t necessarily feasible for a team like the Coyotes that is undergoing endless financial stress.

From now to the end of the season, the Canadiens will owe Price $2 million, paid in the regularly scheduled installments NHL players receive throughout the year.

But on July 1, 2024, Price is owed another significant signing bonus, to the tune of $5.5 million in cash. The same thing will occur on July 1, 2025.

That means if the Canadiens want to trade Price to Arizona today, the Coyotes will have to pay $11 million in signing bonuses on top of the $6 million he’ll be owed in regular salary.

Seeing as the Coyotes are in a tenuous financial situation, to say the least, for now, the odds that Price’s contract ends up being traded to the desert are very low, which means the Canadiens are stuck in a salary cap situation that will not improve throughout the year due to LTIR funds not accruing.

All Montreal Canadiens salary cap information via CapFriendly.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

QUESTION: would the signing bonuses, like the salary, simply be paid by the insurer of the contract?

If so, wouldn’t a team like MIN try to acquire the Price Contract to help mitigate the high cap recapture penalties they are assesed for the buyouts of Parise & Suter? (Thanks to whoever can answer this.)


not sure but I believe so. I think this is a valuable point that Marc should have addressed.
I dont think the habs are interested in Moving price as they want to keep him as a “part” of the organization
I also doubt the habs are in a position to “contend” before his and Gally’s contracts are done.


I will be happy when Price is no longer associated with the Canadiens.


Agreed. Its over. Its been over for a year now.


There are several other teams with much more cap space than we have. Anaheim presently has over $27M and Chicago has over $17M, Arizona has $13M and Winnipeg has over $9M. Winnipeg is still looking for players to build a team, so they won’t be taking cap dumps, but the other 3 most certainly will. No one is going to come kicking our doors down to save them from a cap crunch considering the other options available to them. We don’t have the same leverage like we did with Calgary and Monahan. I think any thoughts of getting another 1st round pick out of someone again this year are a pipe dream.


That’s fine, but ANY team steeping forward to take that contract – for whatever reason – is a pipe dream.


If you mean Carey Price’s, I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about us taking a cap dump player with a sweetener type trade like we did with Monahan. There will be plenty of players teams want to dump, but because there are several teams with tons of space, the law of supply & demand says the return won’t be high for taking on those players imo. We won’t be getting any 1st round picks if we take somebody’s problem off their hands.

As for Price, I’ve been saying that for a couple of years. That contract is untradable because of the bonus money structure. When everyone was squawking to trade him like we did Weber, and was saying we should get a big return because of the cap space it would provide a team, I tried to clarify for them the differences in how the contracts were structured and why it meant we’ll be stuck with Price’s contract for the duration.


He should just retire already. But of course, he won’t…so he can milk every dime out of the Habs/NHL for 3 more seasons. Incredible, after he has already surpassed $100M in career earnings and doesn’t need a dime more…

And NO team is going to take on that much cap hit, so there won’t be any trade to dump his salary.

So, we are stuck with him on the books…

Anyway, we can just Tampa Bay Lightning our way through the next three seasons, with a bonus/overage of $10.5M over the cap, and use that as a huge advantage over all other teams. Taking on “expiring bad contracts” from other teams will give us draft picks and prospects galore – starting last season and through the next 3. And next summer, we will have even more than the current $8.8M in cap space + Price’s LTIR. Nice.


If he retires I am pretty sure the cap hit is much much worse.


Nope. If he retires, his cap hit goes away. Only players who sign new contracts after the age of 35, count against the cap. I’m not sure he gets his signing bonus if he’s on ltir. Probably regular payments. But it’s covered so it shouldn’t matter.


Let’s be a little honest here: NO ONE would walk away from 31.5M. NO ONE. That doesn’t make him or anyone greedy. Carey does great charity work as well, both publicly and privately, so let’s not browbeat the guy who was the cornerstone of the franchise for years.

Given where the Habs are at right now that contract isn’t hurting the team. In the summer you can exceed the cap by 10%, and during the season it resides on LTIR.

My question was largely prompted by the fact that the Minnesota Wild are paying cap recapture penalties of 14.74M this season and next, and then it reduces to 1.67M from there.

IF…the Wild wanted to “go for it” they could acquire Price’s contract, and have more money to spend on talent. However, it would have been brave of Billy G to suggest to his owner than they pay huge payouts to Parise & Suter and cripple the team’s cap for years. It would take unimaginable gall to go to the same owner and say, “hey, I just found a loophole whereby you can spend even more of your money to help hide those buyouts I suggested.”

Interesting times to say the least. A cap hit like Price’s is most tradeable in the final year, and though the cap will be going up then, I suspect it will likely happy after his final bonus payment is paid out.


LTIR does not create cap space, it wouldn’t mitigate the buyouts in any case. It allows you to exceed the cap by whatever the amount on the LTIR contract is, but that includes the LTIR contract in the calculation. Don’t think of it as extra cap dollars, think of it as an entirely separate but adjacent pool of money. The only time it’s really advantageous is when the player can actually return in playoffs and there’s no salary cap like Kuch in Tampa or Stone in Vegas, hence why Montreal got no real value for Weber


Your brain is made of sand if you think anyone is walking away from tens of millions of dollars just for the sake of it. What a childish take