With the NHL Expansion Draft at hand, teams around the league had been tasked with either protecting players on their roster or taking the risk of potentially losing them to the incoming Seattle Kraken. And when it came time for the Montreal Canadiens to protect members of a roster fresh off a Stanley Cup Final appearance, longtime goaltender and franchise great Carey Price was not one of them. Even so, it appears that Canadiens loyalists can breathe a sigh of relief that Price likely isn’t going anywhere.
According to a report by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Carey Price will not not among the players selected by the Kraken in Wednesday’s Expansion Draft, despite being eligible to be claimed by the NHL’s newest franchise. Price had waived a no-move clause in his contract prior to the Expansion Draft, which allowed the Canadiens to protect backup Jake Allen.
According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, the Kraken had been looking into the possibility of adding Price for several months amid rumors that the Canadiens might expose him to the Expansion Draft. At 33 years old, the No. 5-overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft had endured a laborious regular season where he dealt with injuries before rebounding in the Playoffs, leading the Canadiens on a deep run to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.
A major factor in Price’s being exposed to the Expansion Draft had been his salary, as he is currently midway through an eight-year contract that counts for $10.5 million annually against the Canadiens’ salary cap. Price is also owed an $11 million signing bonus in September, one month after he turns 34.
With Price likely out of the picture, the NHL Expansion Draft is set to take place at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday night.