Monday, August 16, 2010

Habs give Price a birthday gift, trade closest rival

image

Well it’s Carey Price’s 23rd birthday. I had expected that the Montreal Canadiens would have announced a new contract on his special day. It hasn’t happened as of 9pm EST, but there’s still time.

The Canadiens appear to have given him an early gift though, to perhaps make the contract negotiations go more smoothly.

Late Monday evening the Canadiens traded goaltender Cedrick Desjardins to the Tampa Bay Lightning for, wait for it…..Karri Ramo.

Here are the releases from the Canadiens and the Lightning.

Desjardins was recently ranked in the Canadiens Top-20 prospects by HockeysFuture earlier this month. More partial to goalies, I had him in the top 12 on a project I was working on..

Desjardins was coming off a career season with the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL), posting a 29-9-4 record with a 2.00 GAA, .919 SvPct and six shutouts.

The 24-year-old had just signed a one-year, $550,000 deal with the Canadiens. Playing in Hamilton, he would make $65K.

Ramo, also 24, spent last season in the KHL with Omsk (21-17-4, 2.11, .913) and has one year remaining in his contract with the club.

His NHL career numbers, all with Tampa, are a meager 11-21-10 with a 3.35 GAA and a paltry .885 SvPct.

Does anyone see this as a real head scratcher, in terms of an even trade? Probably not, but I think I can see the method to Habs GM Pierre Gauthier’s madness. I repeat, I think!

The move essentially gives Alex Auld the uncontested backup roll for the Canadiens this season. That was pretty much a given anyway, and Auld was prepared for that and to mentor Carey Price.

With Ramo committed to the KHL for another year, and veteran Curtis Sandford signed to a two-way deal, Robert Mayer should move up to Hamilton this season after playing last season in the ECHL.

Mayer would be at least a year from hitting the NHL, barring any serious injury issues.

That takes us back to the birthday boy.

By moving Desjardins, it essentially leaves Price with no serious contention in his age range down the road in Montreal.

Gauthier now gives Price and his agent some assurance in terms of contract length potential. Basically saying, “We want you to be our go to guy, and this is what we are willing to do for you. There’s nobody there to take your spot.”

image

It’s a true gamble and demonstration of commitment by the Canadiens to their 2005 First-Round pick. It may have been just what Price needed to keep any challenges/threats out of his head and focus on being the “franchise player” that he has been touted to become.

Fans may call it odd, but chances are the Canadiens and of course Price see it as job security.

We should get some more details over the next day or two, but I smell a signing by week’s end.

Former Av’s draft pick invited to Habs rookie camp: In a report from Metro Halifax’s Matthiew Wuest, the Canadiens have invited Halifax Mooseheads goalie Peter Delmas to their rookie camp.

Delmas, 20, was drafted 61st overall by the Colorado Avalanche in 2008. This is his review at Hockey’s Future.




4 comments:

txstarsgirl said...

http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=533485

Curtis Sanford already signed a one-year, two-way deal for the 2010-2011 season..he's getting paid big bucks to play in the AHL even. I don't really get this trade honestly.

Kevin aka "yathehabsrule" said...

@TXstarsgirl - Thanks for noting that. I have updated the story.

I see it as a chess move, giving up a rook to land the queen.

saskhab said...

Nice take. Although Ramo could come over next year and be a goalie challenging Price in his age range, just like Desjardins potentially could. It just eliminates that possibility for the coming year.

I think it also shows the team is quite confident Price will not hold out on his contract.

Number31 said...

Ced barely challenged Sanford... Ramo's not much different. (Though Ramo's technical side is a lot stronger than Ced's). It's a move to give Mayer a home, a younger, and in my opinion stronger goalie than Ced, with a longer deal attached already (I believe he's got two more years on his contract). Habs don't really have any ECHL affiliation anymore (last year they only really had two players on the team anyway).

Things only get problematic if Sanford gets injured (which happens a lot).