I think more importantly, why would the Habs bother letting Price be taken in the Seattle draft if we're stuck with a ton of empty cap or whatever?
Break down our GM's motives to the most basic reasons.
He costs 10.5M!
- So what? Habs don't even use all of their cap space anyway so its not like because we have Price we can't get a a guy like Panarin etc instead.... We can add some more Alzners? You want 3 more Alzners?
He's no good anymore!
- So what? Play Primeau instead then. Price can be the backup to Primeau once he's ready. Until then, it not like Price is stopping the Habs from being bad enough to draft good.. Habs even with Price are a lottery team soooo....
Its better to get something for him in trade!
- Price is still a good player, not nearly as good as he once was but still capable of being a #1 but the contract stops any chance at a trade and if by all heavens you can make a trade, the value you are getting back isn't going to help you, now or in the medium short term anyway so why bother?. The only benefit the Habs will get by trading Price (In a realistic trade) will be in the last 2-3 years of his contract. Assuming, once again, we actually need cap space in those years to use it on someone that can help but once again see argument #1.
The Habs need to rebuild!
- So rebuild! Keep Price as a mentor to Primeau and the veteran presence for the team just like Lundqvist has been in NYR rebuild. If price doesn't like it, tough. Waive your NMC then and we'll try to trade you if possible.
Habs need to go for it!
- So get better defensemen and forwards then! Playoffs are all about getting hot at the right moment and Price still has the ability to get hot at any moment. The players in front of him need to be better and are as much to blame for this season as Price has been. Price can still be good with good players in front of him. He can't be good with bad players in front of him anymore like he used to be.
Every solution can still work with Price on this team. So if the any trade for Price involves us eating 50% and losing another asset, etc, why bother? Just keep and work around him.
Personally think Price could be traded right now, not for the return fans would want but hockey is still an old boys club and Price is a proven name so a GM out there would trade for him if he was made available.
I agree, there are still GM's who would trade for him but the value has to match the risk they're taking on and any trade like that has to come when Price is not at his worst and right now he's been struggling too much. If he has decent finish to the season, is willing to waive his NMC to any team that would take him, and Habs explore trading him, it could be done. I think the most important thing for that to happen will be the Habs and Price separating on good terms. The minute it turns into a gong show like Subban/Pacioretty, I think things become almost impossible to trade him without losing the trade completely i;e retaining 50% and taking back another bad contract like Lucic etc.