LeBrun: Calculated gamble pays off for Price, Habs
Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun that while the thought of selecting Carey Price in the expansion draft was "tempting," the NHL's newest franchise ultimately elected to stay away.
"We talked about him. Just decided to go a different direction. He was tempting," Francis said.
Instead, Seattle selected defenceman Cale Fleury from the Montreal Canadiens and also nabbed goaltenders Vitek Vanecek from the Washington Capitals and Chris Driedger from the Florida Panthers.
The 33-year-old Price waived his no-movement clause over the weekend, allowing the Canadiens to protect backup goalie Jake Allen instead.
Price still has five years remaining on his current contract with an average annual value of $10.5 million and is due an $11 million signing bonus in September.
The health of the goaltender has also been in question, with Price scheduled to see a New York doctor this week in regards to a knee issue that could potentially lead to surgery.
LeBrun said Tuesday the Kraken were considering taking Price, though the team was also expected to see if Montreal would pay a price for them to pass.
"I think there is a chance of that from the point of view of this, I think there is an expectation that Seattle may come at the 11th hour and ask Montreal about a price in order to not take Carey Price, no pun intended," LeBrun explained on Insider Trading. "If that’s the case, how does GM Marc Bergevin react? To me, Marc Bergevin is pot committed, if we stay with the poker theme here. He’s exposed Carey Price, Price is in on this, I don’t think you pay a price. I think you call Seattle’s bluff and say, either take him or don’t.
"In the meantime, Carey Price is scheduled for a doctor’s visit in New York City on Thursday, he’s supposed to fly out there on Wednesday to check on his knee and also his hip, could have knee surgery. All of this is information that Seattle is aware of, they have access to the Carey Price medical file. In the meantime, Kraken GM Ron Francis has had a few conversations with Price’s agent. It’s all happening, it’s intriguing, let’s see what happens Wednesday."
The British Columbia native appeared in 25 games during the regular season for the Canadiens and posted a 12-7-5 record with a 2.64 GAA.
Price also started all 22 games during the playoffs as the Canadiens advanced to the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Price has spent his entire 15-year NHL career in Montreal after the Canadiens selected him fifth overall in 2005.