NHL Canadian Corner – April 30, 2012.

The latest on the Canucks goaltending and coaching situations, a suggestion for the Canadiens regarding contract talks with Carey Price, Erik Karlsson’s evolution into a great defenseman, and Oilers are starring early for Team Canada in World Hockey Championships exhibition play.

VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre reports the Canucks enter this week in a state of uncertainty over the future of GM Mike Gillis and head coach Alain Vigneault, as Gillis has to first meet with ownership before determining the club’s off-season plans. That also includes the status of their goaltending, as negotiations with RFA Cory Schneider are on hold until Roberto Luongo’s situation has been addressed. MacIntyre’s concern is understandable, but we’re only entering the first week of May, so plenty of time remains to determine the status of the team’s management, head coach, and goaltenders. If things remain in their current state a month from now, then it’s time to worry.

Should Habs avoid Luongo-type contract with Price?

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Red Fisher believes the Canadiens should avoid tying up Carey Price in a lengthy, long-term deal like Luongo’s in order to avoid any potential headaches with him down the road if a young goalie should supplant Price as the Habs starter. He also notes Price isn’t in the same class as the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne or LA’s Jonathan Quick, this year Vezina nominees. Fisher believes a deal no longer than five years should suffice. If the Canadiens new management opts to wait until the new CBA is in place to re-sign Price, Fisher could get his wish, as term limits on contracts are expected to be implemented in that deal. Heck, the Habs new GM could use the uncertainty over the upcoming CBA as an excuse to ink Price to a four-or-five year deal.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Andrew Duffy on Erik Karlsson’s evolution from Senators raw rookie to Norris trophy nominee.

EDMONTON SUN: Terry Jones reports Oilers Jordan Eberle, Devan Dubnyk and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins starred for Team Canada in a recent exhibition match against Switzerland at the World Hockey Championships.

10 Comments

  1. Red Fisher is past his Prime! He should retire from writing his column. He knows nothing of today’s game or how good Price really is. Price may not have gotten a Vezina nod, but that does not make him any less talented than the nominees! How many goalies won a World Jr gold, AHL Calder Cup and AHL Playoff MVP award in the same year? Price did it! The Habs need to lock this guy up long-term!

    • Face it, Price was not as good as Halak. All I’ve heard all year was people defending Price’s play due to an inconsistent, immature D. Take a look at the stats, Budaj had numbers as good as Price.

  2. I like Mr. Fisher’s comments regarding Price. Hero worship and not day to day performance has given Price a free ride thus far. Price is like Luongo in that they are both soft battlers, especially at the end of periods, in overtime, in playoffs and in important games. It is a relief that people are now recognizing that Price is an average goalie and so the Canadians should leave room to improve in this area!

    • I’m not sure what you have been smoking for the last few years, but can I have some?

      Price is an superstar in every sense of the word! He’s never gotten a free ride in Montreal and he was the RIGHT choice!

      He’s 24, he’ll only get better and from what I watch he’s pretty good now! Do you think the Habs push the Bruins to the brink during their cup run without Price? He’s going to bring many cups to Montreal, once they get a dependable offense.

      • Price bumped Halak twice (once in the AHL), and when Halak out-performed Price, Halak was traded. I’m sure Halak can’t complain though, at 4M per season on a cup contender, as part of one of the strongest goalie rotations in the league.

        To anyone making the “he’s only 24 comment”, I would like to point out that he has been a professional for 5 seasons, playing 270 games. Most goalies do not get a shot at playing in the big leagues until they are 22-23 years old, and do not see that number of games until they are closer to their late 20s. Honestly, this is as good as Price is going to get.

  3. I think with Prices age and talent a 7-8 yr deal is good. He’s a quality goalie, has matured greatly the last two seasons, and will be a draw for players to come to, and stay with, the Canadiens. I’m thinking he’s getting 5.75-6mill per.

  4. Until Karlsson starts playing in shorthanded situations, can we please stop the elite defenseman talk. Yes he is young and very good. But a Dman’s primary job is to defend. I’ve heard the excuses that he’s more valuable on offence than on the PK, but if you’re not on the ice when a Dman is most valuable you aren’t elite, you’re not even Mike Green.
    Carey Price is in the top ten goalies in the league and unless Montreal turns on him he should continue to be very good. Other than injury, there’s hardly any risk signing him to a 5 year deal.

  5. Yes, Karlsson is a very dynamic hockey player. But, I completely agree that a defenseman’s primary job should be to defend first. If you’re not on the ice when your team needs defense first (PK), you shouldn’t even be nominated for the Norris. The Norris should go to the “Best Defenseman”, not the “Best Offensive Defenseman”.

  6. I’d vote for Brent Seabrook over Karlsson. Seabrook played in all situations and had a ton of blocks and hits .. you know .. the stats that defensman are actually supposed to rack up.