Will the Canucks pay a price? Kraken’s expansion choice could trigger dominoes – .

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Will the Canucks pay a price? Kraken’s expansion choice could trigger dominoes – .


The Canadiens’ star goalie could play the most important role in the fallout from the Seattle Kraken’s decisions in the draft, which takes place at 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday

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At first glance, the Vancouver Canucks expansion draft scenarios seem fairly straightforward.

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But you dig a bit and realize there’s a bunch of potential dominoes that could be knocked over, and they mostly lead back to Carey Price.

After speaking with an assortment of National Hockey League observers, here’s how things might turn out depending on what happens during Wednesday’s Seattle Kraken expansion picks.

The obvious choices

There are three likely alternatives to the Canucks roster: The general feeling is that the Kraken will most likely select Braden Holtby on the Canucks roster.

But there’s also thought to the edge Kole Lind brings to the table – if he finds his way, he could prove to be a practical and pesky fourth-row winger – could attract the Kraken.

Or maybe Zack MacEwen, who has wrestled in 2020-21 but has the size, skills and attitude to be a practical 13th striker, could be hooked.

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A Holtby?

The Braden Holtby who backed the Washington Capitals to a Stanley Cup in 2017-18 and won the Vezina in 2015-16 is gone. The Canucks had hoped he could regain some of his previous form under the leadership of Ian Clark.

It didn’t quite happen. There were glimpses of Holtby’s former self last season – think of his performance in the first two games of the Canucks’ COVID-19 break – but the overall picture is disappointing. His 0.889 save percentage last season was the worst of his career.

Braden Holtby had a season to forget with the Vancouver Canucks in 2020-21. He could make a fresh start in Seattle. Photo de Codie McLachlan /Getty Images files

He only has one year of contract left. Would the Kraken watch him, knowing there is little risk?

Or could they send him back to a team that really needs a short-term goalie like the Boston Bruins, who don’t have any healthy veteran goaltenders at the moment, after leaving Jaro Halák and with Tuukka Rask until the new year after hip surgery.

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Either way, Seattle sniffed out the veteran goalie.

The price factor

Saturday’s surprise in Montreal that the Canadiens would leave their star goalie unprotected was an earthquake.

From the start, it was assumed that Montreal would leave Jake Allen exposed. Due to his affordable success and generally stable game, Allen would surely have been snapped up by Seattle if he had been, so the idea was that maybe Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin would be able to strike a side deal with Seattle CEO Ron Francis who would be leaving. Allen intact.

No one had really thought about what had happened.

Price, it seems, asked to be exposed, an intriguing gesture on his part. Sources suggest that while he’s not desperate to leave Montreal, he’s nonetheless open to a change of scenery if it comes to Seattle. His wife is from Kennewick, Washington, where he played junior hockey for the Tri-City Americans.

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Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has five more seasons to complete on his eight-year, $ 84 million contract with an annual salary cap of $ 10.5 million. Photo de Bruce Bennett /Getty Images

Price is originally from Anahim Lake, although he played his minor hockey about 320 kilometers east of Williams Lake. His off-season home is in Kelowna, and he and his family have spent much of 2020 with his wife’s family in southeast Washington.

He’s got a hefty price tag – not only does he have five years left on his contract, averaging $ 10.5 million per season, but he’s set to receive an $ 11 million signing bonus in September – so Francis and his The team will need to think long and hard about the potential opportunity cost of adding a goalie who is already in his mid-thirties.

If Price is picked up by Seattle, would the Habs become a trade possibility for Holtby, whether he is also selected by the Kraken or stays in Vancouver?

And if the prices go away …

If Price were to become a Kraken, that would open a cap spread of $ 10.5 million for the Habs.

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And that brings us back to Bergevin’s question considering an offer sheet for Canucks center Elias Pettersson. The Canadiens general manager has done it before, in 2019 against aspiring Carolina Hurricanes star Sebastian Aho, forcing the Hurricanes to match the offer and retain their best cross.

Bergevin is in an interesting position. His team reached the Stanley Cup final but were outnumbered by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Habs need a real No.1 center, and Pettersson clearly is.

Plus, Bergevin could have the aforementioned huge cap space, enough to allow him to structure a deal in a way that allows him to come up with a salary that the Canucks, who have significant cap issues, would have a hard time finding. to match.

That said, an offer averaging over $ 10.276 million per season would see four first-round picks move from Montreal to Vancouver if the Canucks didn’t match.

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The best and the worst case

While this is a tough scenario, the best case scenario for the Canucks would be to see Holtby drafted by the Kraken. Thatcher Demko is set to play most of the schedule next season and with the AHL farm team now on the road at Abbotsford there would be ways to get Mike DiPietro a few starts in the NHL to continue his development. while finding a low cost veteran goalie to play the bulk of the save begins.

The worst-case scenario would be if he was not selected, as that would keep the Canucks within a salary cap limit. Having said that, they could still find a business partner, so it’s not that bad.

OVERTIME – The Canucks announced Tuesday that they will be holding their 2021 training camp at the Abbotsford Center, September 23-25, in addition to playing seven preseason games, including one in Abbotsford on September 27 and a trio at Rogers Arena October 24. 3, 5 and 9.

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