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Why The Canadiens Should Explore Trade Options For Carey Price

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Montreal Canadiens Carey Price

The Montreal Canadiens will have plenty of cap space to work with heading into the summer, but there are a few things worth pointing out as we evaluate how much cap space will truly be available, particularly when it comes to Carey Price.

The Habs will have almost $17 million in available funds, but given that Price’s contract is still part of the mix, timing comes into play.

MUST READ: 2024-25 Canadiens Salary Cap Situation – A Summer Of Opportunity

To reach maximum financial manoeuvrability, the Canadiens must place Price’s contract on the long-term injured reserve (LTIR), which comes with its own sets of limitations due to how LTIR is calculated.

Placing a player on LTIR does not remove the salary cap hit from the team’s overall budget. It does, however, allow the team to spend additional funds above the projected $88 million salary cap for 2024-25.

Why is this distinction important?

The relief funds from LTIR are only possible once the team reaches the upper-limit of the salary cap. And once they’re added to the equation, LTIR funds do not accrue as regular salary cap space does during the regular season.

This means the Montreal Canadiens will have to use their regular cap space before heading into LTIR territory, which limits their options to a certain extent.

Carey Price And LTIR

Having Price on LTIR isn’t ideal from a salary cap standpoint.

If the Canadiens had managed to move his contract prior to today, they would be heading into the season with $17 million in cap space that would accrue significant gains throughout the year.

Cap space and expenditures are calculated on a daily basis during the season (186 days). If a team is below the salary cap, their available cap space will increase every day.

 


But seeing as Price’s funds are tied into the LTIR, it’s virtually impossible for the Canadiens to improve their cap space throughout the season. This limits more than just roster building options, it also prevents them from absorbing more expiring contracts at the trade deadline in exchange for draft capital or other important assets.

Carey Price Trade Options

The obvious solution is to trade his contract to a team that wants to save money, navigate a complicated LTI/LTIR situation, or reach the salary cap floor.

Now that the Arizona Coyotes are no longer the designated graveyard for LTIR contracts, it complicates the situation for the Canadiens, as the options will be limited.

And then there’s also the matter of Price’s signing bonuses.

Price is owed $11 million in signing bonuses over the course of the last two seasons of his contract, with the next payment scheduled for July 1 ($5.5 million). Teams are unlikely to want to discuss any manner of trade before his penultimate signing bonus is paid out in a few weeks.

But come July 2, Price will only be owed one final $5.5 million signing bonus the following year, while touching a very reasonable $2 million in salary per season, which means in pure money terms, his contract will cost a team $9.5 million in the next two seasons, rather than $14 million if he were to be moved in June.

This may not seem like much if you’re a rich team like the Montreal Canadiens, but it will surely factor into trade negotiations with teams that don’t necessarily have the financial backing enjoyed by the Habs.

And while there’s no doubt Carey Price will long be remembered as a legendary player in Montreal, moving his contract would definitely make the next two seasons a little easier to navigate from a salary cap standpoint.

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Mahovlich1971

I would not categorize him as legendary.

Captain Kirk

Everyone’s entitled to an opinion.

John smith

I would bet a lot of money he is a hall of famer

John Smith

I don’t know who you are but you or someone else has now twice taken my handle by using lower case for Smith. Not cool. Come up with your own handle and stop using mine.

dd ff

Isn’t John Smith a common name?

John Smith

Does it matter? I used it first and someone may misrepresent me. How would you like me taking up ddff? I would respect the fact that this is who you want to be identified as. This is an online community where people are building relationships. We know each other. Why should I have to change my handle so someone else can take it? There are plenty of names to use. Why take someone else’s?

Greg

No offence, but John Smith is one of the most common names in the English speaking world. You may be as individual as a snowflake, but your name isn’t. So don’t take it personally, because it most likely isn’t.

John Smith

The number of posters on this site is very small. Greg is a common name here in the West- especially for 50 and overs. There are no other Greg’s here. The odds of another Greg using an uncapitalized “g” are slim. I would hope that no one would step in and just take your handle. I guess I will have to change my handle because some people don’t want to play nice. Sheesh. I picked John Smith because it is so typical, no one would use it. Doing so is like, say, Jane Doe. It was a slight joke of a handle. Very slight. Someone just taking it when there are gazzillions of other options on this very tiny forum seems unfair, especially when I called out this person in the past. What ever happened to civility? I miss it.

Jon Smith

Relax…. lol

Bubba

Modern legend for sure.

Scott

Would you consider Roy a legend?

Price has put up better numbers than Roy, with far inferior teams.

Legend for absolute sure.

Matt

Roy has 4 cups and 3 playoffs MVPs. Price is a sure fire hall of famer but certainly no legend

Habsfan

Roy 4 cups, 3 playoff MVPs, changed the way the position was played. Price was great, a sure fire first ballot hall of fame player. Hes no Roy tho the teams in 86 and 93 were nothing special. Roy made them special at the right time. Prices number 31 shouldn’t even be retired by the habs. Hes great and the face of the franchise for 10+years but hes certainly no legend.

Christopher Kelly

No cups!

Mahovlich1971

He is only a fraction of the player Ken Dryden was.

Grant Tebbutt

No teams NEED his “free cap hit” to make the cap floor, so how m,uich are you willing to give up to get a team to take him?

Ghg55

You don’t need one. Look at the Dadonov/Weber trade. They can just do something like that and not give up a bunch of valuable assets.

Jimmy

I can see the Habs able to trade Carey Price contract on the last year of his contract when they pay the last installmen of his bonus money other then that no N.H.L team will touch that contract now.

Tyrone

Right from the beginning of Price’s time on LTIR I’ve said his contract was unreadable because it was structured to keep Carey a Hab for life. Even after we pay the final bonus on July 1st, 2025, despite the fact that his actual salary will be a pittance, his cap hit will still be $10.5M. What team in the NHL would need to waste that much cap space for nothing? No one will be trying to reach the cap floor anymore now that the Coyotes are gone. The only way I could possibly see us trade his contract is if we had to take back a high salary dump player in the deal and send a sweetener along with Price’s contract. But in that scenario, we’re stuck with a player that obviously is not playing well and would require a spot in the lineup too. If that’s the case, it makes more sense to just keep Price and spend that money on our own player who can actually be a contributing factor for us.

Greg

You are correct in that it definitely won’t happen this year. Next year, it’s still doubtful, but there’s a chance then at least.
I don’t see any reason to trade him though, not now, and not next year either. Here is why.

1. It will cost too much to move him, either year.
2. We are rebuilding, and wasting prime assets–which they would have to be to eat that sized deal–during a rebuild for the purposes of creating Cap space is about as lousy as it gets where asset management is concerned.
3. We should not be doing things to help the teams blatantly abusing LTIR to get a competitive edge every playoffs. The “off-season” cap overage allowance is 10%. Last I looked, playoffs aren’t regular season.

10% allows every team the ability to address some injury issues. It’s already a rule, it’s fair for everyone, and it will stop teams like Vegas and Tampa from adding far more than 10% every year via suspicious injuries.

Last edited 6 days ago by Greg
Jimmy

Only team that rebuilding that want to hit the floor on salary. cap will trade for last year of price contract after the Habs pay the last bonus payment to price.