On Saturday night rumors began to leak out suggesting that superstar goaltender Carey Price had not been protected by the Montreal Canadiens in the upcoming expansion draft. I'll be honest with you I didn't think such a thing was even possible, but when the protection lists were officially unveiled on Sunday morning we got confirmation from the National Hockey League itself that Carey Price had in fact been exposed by the Habs.
It is nothing if not a daring gamble on the part of Montreal Canadiens' general manager Marc Bergevin. The Habs GM clearly believes that the remaining 5 years on Price's deal at a cap hit of $10.5 million will be too much for the Kraken to stomach with their inaugural roster of players, but there are now some indications that the Kraken may be trying to find a way to make the money work.
According to a report from NHL insider Pierre LeBrun, the Seattle Kraken's management team is now taking what he described as a "deep dive" on the possibility of drafting the Canadiens' superstar onto their roster. To be clear here LeBrun believed initially, like Bergevin, that the Kraken would not take on the massive contract but he has now indicated that there is a better chance of it happening that he had initially thought. In the end he suspects the Kraken will go in another, no doubt cheaper and young, direction but is not closing the door on the possibility of Price being selected.
I don't need to tell you that the Kraken effectively stealing away Carey Price for no return would leave a gigantic gap to fill in the Canadiens' lineup for next season, but even if he is picked up by the Kraken I don't believe this is a doom and gloom scenario for the Canadiens. The reality is that Price being drafted by the Kraken would give general manager Marc Bergevin a whopping $10.5 million in cap space to work with in the offseason, and in the flat cap era of the NHL that is a lot of wiggle room. That kind of cap space could allow Bergevin to make some significant offseason moves that would, in part, help counter balance the loss of Price.