Carey Price: What's he worth?
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03-02-2012, 03:00 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Montréal, QC
Originally Posted by
I've been a HFBoards lurker for many years never having felt the need to put in my say since someone would always be of similar mind. But now, no one else seems to think what I'm thinking or is afraid to say it because of a suspicion that they'd be ridiculed or that they would be called a poor fan. I felt compelled to write a post.
I'm a fan of the Canadiens as a team and goalies as a position. I've loved, hated and been ambivalent about many goalies since the 70s. I've loved Tretiak, and Esposito, wondered at the awkward movements of young Dryden, mourned the early loss of Pelle Lindbergh, hoped for Hackett to beat his vertigo to be what he could, laughed in joy at Hasek's flopping saves, marvelled at the brilliance of Roy and Halak in their magical playoff runs... I could go on and on.
But that is just to preface my opinion (which seems to be a lonely one). It's this - I never liked Theodore, and just like Theodore, I don't like Carey Price.
People seem to have a collective unconscious agreement that Price is the Canadiens' goalie now and well into the future. There are threads speculating about how much to pay him and for how long. They talk about the great lateral movement and positioning. They say he is a franchise goalie and franchise goalies are paid top dollar. Statistics are used to validate their claims to his greatness or potential therein. Forgive me but my memory is poor - was Theodore not also assumed to be a great goalie with a great future?
(I do not mean to compare goaltending techniques, only the general consensus of opinion on ability).
What makes me not like Price? I regret I am not supported by the data. The numbers say he is a number one. I only have my gut feeling based on observing his goaltending and perhaps comparing it in my mind to great goalies I have watched in the past. Subconsciously, I was weary of Price, even in his great season last year. Maybe it was the Umberger goals in the Philadelphia series a few years ago that made me turn on him - goals that made my stomach turn and my heart ache for someone else in front of that net. Maybe it was the Boston series before that that had already cemented my opinion.
And again, I am not arguing based on his ability. He obviously has the technique. It's that something you can never put a finger on. And I am certain he doesn't have that "thing". Even if the team was doing well this year, he is not a goalie I want to go to battle for or with.
But now with the team in flux, we want to sign this fellow to a long term deal at superstar wages. It is a mistake. The management of the team made an error in trading Halak instead of riding a tandem to reveal the true identity of the hero in the mask. My wish is that it does not make a second one by rooting us to this particular goalie in an unhealthy financial and performance situation.
My criticism does not come without a recommendation. You may view it as naive. I believe in my heart that we should trade Price while the community at large holds him in high regard.
This is all only my opinion. I may be wrong but no one seems to ever say anything negative about this goalie. I'm wondering why.
First off, welcome to the boards. Secondly, I am guessing a lot of people will attack you for this post hehe...
I agree with you that Price tends to be overrated by the fanbase here. He's a good goaltender, but I too would be reluctant to sign him to a huge contract right now. Last year in the playoffs, I believe that if Price had been only good (not necessarily great), the Habs would have knocked out the Bruins in the first round. His previous playoff appearances were even worse. Every single playoff series he's played in, he's been outplayed by the opposing goaltender. The fact that he's largely struggled in the playoffs scares me. Giving an unproven playoff performer a huge contract is very risky. I would rather see him play solid in the playoffs before I give him that monster contract.
The good news is that he's young, and he's maturing. Last year, even though he wasn't great, he was better in the playoffs than he had been in the past. I hope that trend continues, and I have no reason to believe that with his better maturity will come a better mindset for being that masked hero you speak of in the playoffs.
Where I disagree is that he'll never become that hero. I think he has what it takes, even if he's not there yet. He may never reach Roy/Brodeur/Hasek levels of greatness, but the fact that he started his career at such an early age gives him a chance to challenge those greats. He's still very young. And the reason why it often seems like he doesn't have that "thing", is that his fundamentals are so sound that it often looks like he's not trying/moving/reacting quickly.
An interesting point you make is about trading Price while his value is very high. The season Theodore won the Vezina, I was clamoring for the Habs to trade him, because I believed he was vastly overrated and would never be able to repeat that performance. In hindsight, I was right - maybe in time you'll be proven right. However, personally, I don't believe his perceived value in the league is currently greater than his genuine value, so I wouldn't make that trade.
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