Marc Bergevin is no dummy. The Canadiens general manager knows he was damned if you do and damned if you don’t when it came to signing franchise goaltender Carey Price to a mega contract extension this weekend.
Sign Price to an eight-year, $84 million extension a full year before he reaches unrestricted free agency and critics howl that the Canadiens are spending far too much of their salary cap space, roughly 14 percent to start, on a goalie, and everyone knows through recent history that the highest-paid goaltenders, or even the best netminders, do not win Stanley Cups, the best teams do.
However, if Bergevin failed to lock up Price, the face of the storied franchise and the team’s best player by far, then, in the words of NHL Network Radio host Rob Simpson on Monday’s Stellick and Simmer Show, They’d be rioting in the streets of Montreal, burning cars on every corner.
The Rangers drafted J.T. Miller as a center, but, so far, most of his career has been spent on the wing due to to deficiencies in his defensive game. The kids down below, like second-year pro Boo Nieves, currently seem more like fourth-liners than third. An intriguing option, depending on how ready he looks in September, is Lias Andersson, the club’s first-round pick, seventh overall, this past June.
Despite the signing of Zibanejad, though, the Rangers remain a work in progress two months ahead of training camp.
Then Pittsburgh saw its forward ranks reduced to 10 when Conor Sheary exited in the second period after taking an inadvertent open-ice body check from teammate Patric Hornqvist, who was instead trying to line up Lars Eller but missed.