Trying to shed some light on the NHL's offseason debates

By Kevin Allen, USA TODAY

Carey Price or Jaroslav Halak:

Sign Nabby or let him walk:

Marleau or Kovalchuk :
Carey Price or Jaroslav Halak:
Halak should be Montreal’s goalie and Price should be traded. But as is always the case, we need to know Halak’s asking price before we commit to that plan. I believe Halak has proved his merits. But in a salary cap world, you can’t over-commit dollars to a goalie or you could end up like the Bruins or Chicago Blackhawks. Boston has a talented $5 million goalie (Tim Thomas ) in a backup role, and the Blackhawks have a $5.65 million goalie (Cristobal Huet ) sitting on the bench during the Stanley Cup Final. You wonder whether the success of Philadelphia’s Michael Leighton and Chicago’s Antti Niemi in the playoffs might prompt GMs to consider rolling the dice more in net for financial reasons. The problem with that idea: A situation worse than having a $5 million backup is having no quality goalie. There is still romance around the league about Price’s potential. Would GM Steve Yzerman be interested in Tampa Bay? I believe Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier could fetch a reasonable return, and then they could either trade for another young goalie to stash in the system or they could draft Calvin Pickard late in the first round. I think Price and Halak will both want too much money to keep both.

Sign Nabby or let him walk:
Although I would want to hear his asking price first, I’m inclined to let Evgeni Nabokov walk. I’m not in the anti-Nabokov group, but it seems time for a change. On one hand, Nabokov has 131 regular-season wins over the past three seasons. On the other hand, Nabokov’s postseason save percentage has been lower than his regular-season save percentage in each of the past three seasons. Rather than pay him the elite-level wage that his stats say he deserves, I might be inclined to consider a tandem of Thomas Greiss and veteran free agent Marty Turco . Again, much would depend upon how much Nabokov wants and how much Turco is asking. But I’m guessing Turco won’t be asking only for the moon without the stars. He’s not going to command the kind of deal that Nabokov can command.

Marleau or Kovalchuk: Ilya Kovalchuk will the most prominent free agent in the marketplace and there will be more suitors for him than I originally thought. But if you ask me whether the Los Angeles Kings are more likely to go after either Patrick Marleau or Kovalchuk , I might say MarleauKovalchuk . It’s expected that the Kings will pursue an elite-level forward and the presumption they will go after the dynamic, fan-pleasing to put more people in the stands. But GM Dean Lombardi knows Marleau well from their days in San Jose. If the Kings chase a free-agent forward, I’m guessing Lombardi will give strong consideration to Marleau.

12 Responses to Trying to shed some light on the NHL's offseason debates


    I think MTL should trade Halak…. First of all Price I believe has a higher potential than Halak. Also I think MTL could get more for Halak than Price.. Also I noticed in the Philly series they were shooting high on him, and scoring. I think the scouting report on Halak is to shoot high on him, and I think once the rest of the league reliazes it Halak will not be as effective as he was in the playoffs. Also if Philly had a good goalie they probably would be sipping from the Cup by now, if Iwas them I would target a better goalie.


    2011 2nd round draft pick

  2. leafmeister says:

    What is it gonna take for Halak to get some respect?

    Face the facts. Halak has proven himself in Montreal. MTL had no business in the Conference finals, and it would have been a very quick sweep in round 1 if not for him.

    MTL fans have destroyed Price. He has not recovered his rookie form and had a losing record. He may have a higher potential, but I would bet he never finds it in Montreal.

    Price would get you a healthy return, certainly not Carter, and would allow you to keep the better goalie.

    What would be a better option for Philly is to sign a young, relatively cheap goalie on the market. I would try Dan Ellis.


    Phily needs a proven goalie not a guy like Ellis.. right now the Flyers are a good team, but in the cap world it won't last, so they have to go for it now, plus with Pronger's age its only a matter of time before hes less effective… I'm a huge MTL fan, but I saw how Philly ripped apart Halak, and now the secerts out how to beat him he wont be that good… I agree Habs fans need to back off Price, but if they can sign a good backup like Biron, who will help Price and take some heat off I think he can rebound. Goalies always take longer to develop and MTL and the FANS need to back off and let him develop… I think if they trade him, that trade will haunt them for many years to come…

  4. reinjosh says:

    The Price or Halak debate has only one answer and that is trading Price. Its the same type of deal that the Phaneuf trade was. Price will never reach his potential in Montreal, same as Phaneuf in Calgary because of differing factors that just got to the players, whether mentally or other. Price will never be the goalie you think he is on Montreal, hes been permanently placed behind the 8 ball. He has to be traded to maximize the value to the Habs. Even if he turns into a franchise guy it won't matter because they got the best value out of him. And this is coming from a Leafs fan with no anti-montreal intentions.

  5. leafmeister says:

    Thats why you trade Price west, keep Halak, and go from there.

    If Price ends up the better goalie, then they would only have to face Price once a year, and they would have a nice return for him.

    If Halak proves he is not a flash in the pan, he could be a Vezina contender.

    Price has much farther to go.

    Realistically, do you ever think that Price will be able to regain his form in Montreal?

  6. reinjosh says:

    uhh bud, they have almost identical numbers. Can't really say one is more proven over the other.

  7. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Well, here's where I think a few of the goalies will end up this off-season.

    Marty Turco to Philadelphia as UFA

    Carey Price to Edmonton for Dustin Penner & Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers

    Evgeni Nabokov to Washington as UFA

    Jaroslav Halak re-signs in Montreal as RFA

  8. Kill_Yourself says:

    easy… Halak to stay, Nabby to stay, Marleau over kovalchuck.


    Why would Philly want Turco?? I think they've had enough of unproven goalies.. they need to win now, enough of shitty goalies holding them back, what has Turco ever done??


    what team in the West needs a goalie?? the only ones i can think of is maybe St.louis, Edmonton or the Sharks.. if those are the teams that are interested what are they going to give up for Price?? a mid pick or a shitty prospect that the team doesn't even want?? The team can get a good return for Halak, so its time to trade him… Like I said before, if you watched the series against Philly, Halak is very weak if you shoot high on him, which is what the flyers did on him, I think he'll be less effective next year, the time to trade him is now while he's hot…

  11. leafmeister says:

    Okay. So St. Louis needs a goalie, that works.

    Price to the Blues for David Backes – The Habs get some much needed size for the forward core, and the Blues get their man in net. Low pressure environment, and a team with an up and coming defense to help Price regain his form. The Habs only have to play them once a year if Price becomes a Vezina candidate.

    Halak was tired. He carried the team for two rounds and ran out of gas. Even with just a little help, Halak could have at least made a series with the Flyers.


    if Price becomes a Vezina winner, that trade would be one of the worst trades ever, and everyone on here, would be calling the Habs idiots for giving up on a good young goalie.. I would only trade him, if he wanted out, but according to the media he wants to stay, so I say trade Halak… but you never know maybe both will resign in MTL.. or maybe Halak will bolt to the KHL.. which is another reason I trade Halak, because you never know with the Europeans

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