The low-down on Carey Price's contract talks in Montreal

careyprice2.jpgWhen a restricted free agent is slow in working out a contract with their team in the NHL, this is about the time of year where regular hockey fans will start to get a little bit antsy to get something done. Picture then, if you will, what it’s like for fans of the Montreal Canadiens to sit around and wait for news, any news at all, on what’s going on with restricted free agent and prospective starting goalie Carey Price.

There hasn’t been any news at all on what’s going on with Price and with Stanley Cup-winning goalie Antti Niemi back on the market as an unrestricted free agent, some fans are getting a little bit worked up about things. Thankfully, Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out is here to settle everyone down.

Gerry Johannson, Price’s agent, says that the two sides “are not necessarily close, but it’s not that we’re not close in a bad way. We’re having good conversations and we both are commited to getting things done.” Johannson says the slow pace of talks is “relatively normal” and that his hope is to have a deal done by the end of this month or early next month.

The agent says he’s seeking a shorter-term deal, which would likely translate to a year or two.

It’s an unusual summer, of course, with the number of goaltenders changing address and teams’ rosters still taking shape. The Chicago Blackhawks’ decision to walk away this week from the Antti Niemi arbritration ruling has begun rumours in Montreal that the Canadiens would go after the goalie who led the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup since 1961. But Johannson has been told by Habs GM Pierre Gauthier that “this is 100 per cent not the case.”

All right Habs fans, get off the ledge and everything will be OK. This is just business as usual. As for speculation about what Price will get contract-wise, consider these facts. Price was, for all intents and purposes, a backup goalie to Jaroslav Halak last year and Halak earned $3.75 million per year from the Blues after the Habs traded him to St. Louis. Antti Niemi was the starting goalie for the Stanley Cup champions after taking the starting job from former Habs goalie Cristobal Huet and won a $2.75 million award in arbitration.

Price should be asking for $3 million a year, but willing to settle for $2 million a year if the Habs are feeling generous like that. Let’s face it, the goalie market is bad and demanding a king’s ransom goes over about as well as losing a game in Montreal. What won’t help Price’s negotiations out is what Marty Turco signed for in Chicago as that will be viewed as the right way to settle a deal with a guy desperate for a job.

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    Sens announce Hammond will undergo season-ending hip surgery

    OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 5: Andrew Hammond #30 of the Ottawa Senators looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre on April 5, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
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    It’s been one development after another in goal for Ottawa this season, and that narrative continued on Monday.

    The Sens announced that third-stringer Andrew Hammond, who’s only appeared in six games this year, will require surgery to fix a torn labrum in his hip and miss the next three months of action. It’ll be a season-ending procedure.

    It’s been a tumultuous season for Hammond, to say the least.

    Two years removed from being the darling of Ottawa’s miraculous playoff push, Hammond was soundly beaten out for the No. 2 gig by Mike Condon, who arrived via trade from Pittsburgh early in the season. There were minutes up for grabs after No. 1 Craig Anderson took a leave while his wife went through cancer treatment, but Hammond was unable to provide consistent netminding and, as a result, Condon got a lion’s share of the playing time.

    At that point, Hammond’s future with the organization seemed in doubt. There were rumblings Ottawa was trying to trade him before waiving him in November (and again in February).

    Around the same time of that second waiving, it was learned the Sens had began contract extension talks with Condon.

    Hammond, 29, has one year left on the three-year, $4.05 million extension signed back in ’15. He carries a $1.35M cap hit.

     

     

     

    In wake of youth hockey brawl, Peters admits he did ‘not do a good job this weekend’

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    This morning on Buffalo radio, former Sabres tough guy Andrew Peters offered a mea culpa of sorts regarding his role in a youth hockey brawl on Saturday.

    Peters admitted that he did “not do a good job this weekend communicating” with his team that fighting is “unacceptable” in youth sports.

    “I can’t discuss anything in regard to the altercation,” Peters added, per the Buffalo News. “I have to move on from that.”

    From the Associated Press’ story on the brawl:

    Former NHL enforcer Andrew Peters has been suspended indefinitely as coach of a youth hockey team pending a Buffalo police investigation into his role in an on-ice brawl.

    Buffalo Junior Sabres president Kevyn Adams announced the suspension Sunday, a day after the melee occurred during a game between the Peters-coached 15-and-Under team and the Ontario-based Hamilton Junior Bulldogs.

    A video posted on YouTube shows the fight escalating into the Sabres’ bench, when Peters becomes involved in attempting to separate the players. At one point, the 36-year-old appears to shove a Hamilton player backward onto the ice.

    According to a person familiar with the situation, Peters told Junior Sabres officials that he slipped while attempting to get one of the Hamilton players away from Buffalo’s bench. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the conversation was to remain private.

    Peters played 229 NHL games for the Sabres and Devils, racking up 650 PIM with just four goals and three assists.

    Back-to-back hat tricks earns Forsberg first star of the week

    NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 17:  Filip Forsberg #9 of the Nashville Predators celebrates a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in the second period of Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on April 17, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
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    With back-to-back hat tricks, plus two more goals to boot, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg was today named the NHL’s first star of the week.

    Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau were the second and third stars, respectively.

    But Forsberg was a slam dunk for the top honor. After getting off to a slow start this season, the 22-year-old winger now has 24 goals — and, more importantly, his Predators have a seven-point playoff cushion.

    The Preds went 3-0-1 last week, which included back-to-back wins over two tough opponents, Washington and Edmonton, over the weekend.

    With three goals Thursday against Colorado, Forsberg became the first player since Alex Burrows in 2010 to register back-to-back hat tricks.

    Waiver claims: Bolts get McKegg, Jackets snag Dalpe

    SUNRISE, FL - OCTOBER 22: Shane Harper #38 celebrates his third period goal with Gregg McKegg #41 of the Florida Panthers against the Colorado Avalanche at the BB&T Center on October 22, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Avalanche 5-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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    A pair of forwards were scooped off waivers on Monday morning.

    The Lightning snared Greg McKegg from in-state rival Florida, while the Blue Jackets picked up journeyman Zac Dalpe from Minnesota, per ESPN.

    McKegg, 24, was originally a Maple Leafs draftee (third round, ’10) that Florida acquired via trade two years ago. He appeared in 31 games for the Panthers this year, scoring six points, but also spent time with the club’s AHL affiliate in Springfield.

    Dalpe, 27, has bounced around the league throughout his professional career, though he has spent the last two campaigns with the Wild organization. He’s appeared in more games for Iowa than Minnesota, scoring a goal and three points in nine NHL games this year.

    There is a connection between Dalpe and Columbus. The former had a career year under Jackets head coach John Tortorella in Vancouver during the ’13-14 campaign — that season, Dalpe played 55 games and finished with four goals and seven points.