Agent: Nothing yet on Price talks, Habs not targeting Niemi Staff

8/5/2010 2:41:36 PM

The Montreal Canadiens' contract negotiations with restricted free agent goaltender Carey Price are certainly going at a slower pace, but that does not mean the club is looking at other options in net.

Price's agent Gerry Johannson told the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday his understanding was that there was no truth to the rumours that the Habs could go after unrestricted free agent netminder Antti Niemi.

"(The two sides) are not necessarily close, but it's not that we're not close in a bad way," he explained to the Gazette's website Habs Inside/Out regarding a new contract. "We're having good conversations and we both are committed to getting things done."

Johannson added that the slow pace of talks is "relatively normal" and that he hopes to have a deal done by the end of this month or early next month.

He also told the Gazette he's seeking a shorter-term, one- or two-year contract.

Price, who was 13-20-5 with a 2.77 average and a .912 save percentage last season, is all but assured to be the team's top starter. The Canadiens traded Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues in June and signed Alex Auld play to alongside Price for the upcoming campaign.