The Montreal Canadiens should shut down Carey Price for the season
The campaign for the Montreal Canadiens has gone down the drain ever since their most valuable player, and the league’s most valuable player in 2014-2015, went down with an injury again. The team has found itself floundering and is now five points out of the final wild card spot in the East with two more games played than the team they are tying to catch.
Carey Price was seen limping while skating recently and it raises the question about his availability for the rest of the season. Marc Bergevin and company have to decide whether or not they want to bring back their star player for the home stretch.
There are two sides to this dilemma. One is bringing him back for a late season run and hoping that you can squeeze out a playoff spot, which is becoming more and more difficult by the day. You risk Price re-injuring himself with this and that could set him back even further which is the last thing the team needs.
The other option might be the best to go with at this point. Shut down Carey Price for the season and re-tool for next year.
It’s a tough pill to swallow but the organization may need to do it. The team doesn’t have any big unrestricted free agents they can deal, although Tom Gilbert and Dale Weise would generate some interest. Weise fits in well so I doubt they would want to move him anyways.
By shutting down Price, a few things will happen for the Canadiens.
One, they’ll get a good draft pick. They still have their first round pick this year and they currently only sit seven points from the bottom five of the league. This gives them a good chance at one of Tkachuk or Chychrun most likely, although they would get an increased chance at landing Auston Matthews due to the new draft lottery rules.
Secondly, they get a fully healthy Carey Price. The reality is that Price won’t be back 100% for a few more weeks. The team, in my opinion, would be better off starting fresh in 2016-2017 with Price at best health rather than having him try to carry the team on his back to the playoffs in the last 15 to 20 games of the year.
Thirdly and lastly, it gives them a good chance to truly evaluate their roster and make some moves. The team surrounding Carey Price is simply not good enough and this stretch has proven it. The pressure, so to speak, will be alleviated if they throw in the towel this year and it’ll give Marc Bergevin time to work before the trade deadline and draft to see who will be a permanent member of the team and who will have to go.
It’s a tough decision, but shutting down Carey Price may be the road the Canadiens have to take.