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