The verdict is in on a possible contract buyout for Carey Price with the CH

Published June 20, 2022 at 2:14 PM

Since the end of the Montreal Canadiens season, and especially since the trade of Shea Weber to the Vegas Golden Knights, many fans and observers believe that Kent Hughes will buy out some contracts, especially Carey Price's.

Let's first recall the principle of a contract buyout, or at least the purpose of such a move.

There are several complex aspects to understanding this, but basically, you have to know that a general manager will generally employ this avenue when he is in a position to be competitive in the short term and wants to give himself some flexibility, under the salary cap, in the short term. (and then it hurts a little more in the long run)

For example, the Minnesota Wild.

They bought out two huge contracts (Zach Parise and Ryan Suter), to give themselves some short-term salary flexibility, which also allowed them to acquire players like Marc-Andre Fleury and sign Kirill Kaprizov.

It helped their cause last year, but next year it's going to hurt them tremendously (and the years after that too).

An organization will buy out a big contract to help in the short term, sacrificing a bit of the medium and long term, depending on the contract in question.

Knowing that, we already have our answer on a possible contract buyout for a guy like Carey Price. As Maxime Truman explains well, Kent Hughes has absolutely no valid reason to buy out Price's contract, especially since he could well (unfortunately) end up on the long-term injured list.

With the Shea Weber trade, it confirms it: Hughes has absolutely no intention of buying out Carey Price's contract.

The same goes for Jonathan Drouin, Jeff Petry or Mike Hoffman. It's not going to happen, especially considering where the CH is right now.

If they leave, it will be via trade or via the free agent market at the end of their contract. These are solutions that will not come back to haunt Kent Hughes and the CH when the club is competitive in a few years. (unlike contract buyouts, talk to Wild fans)

"What would be the point of saving a few accounting pennies next year, but mortgaging the team's payroll in two years, when the Habs MAY start aiming for the playoffs? Especially since by doing so, Kent Hughes would surely give up possible picks/spells at the next trade deadline." - Maxime Truman, DansLesCoulisses

Because yes, with good starts to the season next year, players like Drouin could bring back possible picks and/or prospects at the next trade deadline. (like Brett Kulak and Ben Chiarot, in 2022)

"But the dumbest speculation of all is that the Habs might consider buying out Carey Price's contract.

Mark my words: that will NEVER happen! Why? Because Price will play or be placed on the LTIR. There is no third option for him. No, he will not officially retire because that would mean giving up $31.25 million. No sane human being would dare do that..." - Maxime Truman, DansLesCoulisses

Plus, buying out Carey Price's contract wouldn't give Kent Hughes any advantage, because it's structured so that he gets paid (mostly) in "signing bonus".

His base salary is only a million or two per season, and it is THIS amount that would be affected by a contract buyout, not the "signing bonuses".

Verdict: Carey Price's contract will never be bought out by the CH. If you hear this, don't believe it. For other interesting details:

June 20   |   278 answers
The verdict is in on a possible contract buyout for Carey Price with the CH

What will happen to Carey Price?

Traded3713.3 %
Retired10236.7 %
Stay with the Canadiens13950 %
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