NHL Roundup: Cinderella Habs staying with Price, Wild negotiating, Zibanejad contract, and updated Trade Bait Tracker
The Stanley Cup Final could be over tomorrow night as the Cinderella Habs face elimination against the Tampa Bay Lightning. As the clock is nearing the stroke of midnight, the carriage that got Montreal here is about to turn back into a pumpkin.
It would be a tall ask of any team to win four straight in a series. Asking the Canadiens who came into these playoffs with the lowest point totals against the NHL’s new standard of elite too much. Tampa has yet to lose two games in a row in these playoffs.
NHL Roundup: Canadiens stick with Carey Price
“Carey’s the guy playing on Monday. If people wonder who’ll be in net, Carey will be in net. You can talk about one guy but it’s about all of us. We have to be better in front of him,” Ducharme said Saturday.
Former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient Carey Price has yielded 13 goals on 79 shots during the first three games of the series against Tampa Bay. The Lightning hold a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“I can definitely play better. It’s just not good enough so far,” Price said of his .835 save percentage in the series. If the Canadiens hope to win four games in a row, he will have to be otherworldly.
Read more here.
Mika Zibanejad’s next deal crucial
Yesterday, I dove deep into the importance of Mika Zibanejad’s next contract with the New York Rangers. Using the Tampa Bay Lightning as a model, their use of giving key players 8 year deals in order to lower the AAV has been a key to their success.
The Rangers do boast some high end young talent like Adam Fox, Alexis Lafrenière, and Kaapo Kakko. At some point, Chris Drury needs to lock these players down with cost efficient deals, and having that ability to give them an 8th year is crucial on cost control.
Getting that ball rolling with Zibanejad makes a lot of sense. Read the entire story here.
Wild still trying to sign Kirill Kaprizov; others
One down and another big one to go. Center Joel Eriksson Ek signed an eight-year, $42 million contract Friday to remain with the Minnesota Wild. Now they need to get this season’s Calder Trophy winner, Kirill Kaprizov done next.
There was a rumor about the prospect of Kirill Kaprizov using the only leverage he had and signing with a KHL team. While the two sides have not made any headway towards a new deal, GM Bill Guerin wants Wild fans to know he isn’t overly concerned.
“I don’t know how to take it. I mean, there hasn’t been a threat,” Guerin relayed to Michael Russo. “So I think it’s more built up in the media.” The two sides continue to work on a deal with the Wild looking long term but Kaprizov only interested in a bridge deal. As far as the the threat to sign in the KHL Guerin was pretty direct, “They haven’t said anything about the KHL, so I have nothing really to get worried about.”
NHL Trade Bait Tracker
There’s a lot of high end players available on the trade market this summer. The three biggest names on the block are Jack Eichel, Seth Jones, and Dougie Hamilton. Some new names and updates have been added to the tracker as of yesterday.
Check it out here.
Finally, HAPPY 4TH OF JULY to our U.S. readers!