Expect Carey Price to sign July 1st.

Carey Price is a generational goaltender. He makes players better, he makes teams contenders, and most importantly he is a consistent goaltender. Year in and year out Carey Price should be the highest paid goaltender in the NHL, due to his quiet temperament and elite skills in the crease.

As Price enters the final year of a six-year, $39-million contract he inked back in July 2012, he becomes eligible for an extension on July 1. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, that’s exactly what Price, his agent, Gerry Johansson, and the Canadiens, led by GM Marc Bergevin, are targeting as a date for the extension. There are several reasons in which the Habs would want to sign Price immediately. In a salary cap era, the cap dictates exactly what your team can do, especially after you sign your big name players. Without a doubt Price deserves to be the highest paid goaltender in the league. But can Bergevin convince Price to take a pay cut in order to secure more depth scoring? It goes without saying that Price is the best goalie in the league (Holtby can be on any given day as well), but Bergevin does not have scoring. He can’t pay players if all the money it tied down in Price (6.5 and soon to be more), Weber (7.8 Million), and Jeff Petry (5.5 million) that is over 17 million dollars tied up In guys who won’t be scoring huge goals. Plekanec is earning 6 million this season, and Galchenyuk is a RFA come July 1st as well. MONTREAL NEEDS SCORING. If they lock down Price, maintain Weber’s contract and continue to have depth defensemen they will have one of the better back ends in the league. But a large contract for Price could hurt his team in the long run. The same problems of scoring have irked the franchise for years, as Carey Price has had dominant seasons come to an end due to having no goal support.

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Does he deserve the largest goalie contract in the league? Absolutely. Is it best for the team? That remains to be seen.

Borrowing some statistics from the Hockey News’s Jared Clinton

“Over the past three years, of which Price missed nearly an entire campaign due to an MCL sprain, he ranks eighth in wins with 91. His .929 save percentage is the best of any starting goaltender in the league. Likewise, his 2.09 goals-against average is the lowest of any netminder who falls into the same category. And despite missing a whole year, over which time he could have racked up multiple clean sheets, Price still ranks sixth in shutouts with 14 to his name. When it comes to 5-on-5 SP, Price’s .939 mark puts him ahead of every other goaltender with at least 4,000 minutes to his name.

This is a testimony for the greatness of Carey Price. Canada loves the guy simply for his efforts internationally as he has been a brick wall in World Juniors, Olympic Games and in the World Cup. The guy just does it all. As a leafs fan, you are still a fan of Carey Price.

The 29-year-old is a Vezina Trophy finalist after going 36-20-5 this season with a 2.23 GAA and .923 save percentage along with three shutouts, is likely to receive a contract offer July 1st, and is clearly priority #1 for GM Marc Bergevin.

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