Montreal Canadiens expose Price, Weber, Danault and others in expansion draft
Vezina, Hart, Ted Lindsay and multiple other awards winner Carey Price has been left off the protected players list for the upcoming Seattle Kraken expansion draft.
The Habs protected players list released by the NHL includes goalie Jake Allen but not Price.
TSN 690's Tony Marinaro said Price's decision to waive his no-move clause does not mean that he wants out of Montreal.
"It probably means he's doing what's best for the hockey team," said Marinaro "The Montreal Canadiens absolutely want to protect, and Marc Bergevin absolutely wants to protect backup goaltender Jake Allen."
Marinaro said that if the Habs left Allen off the protected list and tried to negotiate a deal with Seattle, it would probably have cost the team a draft pick or prospect.
Other players left off the list were as follows:
- Brandon Baddock (F)
- Joseph Blandisi (F)
- Paul Byron (F)
- Phillip Danault (F)
- Laurent Dauphin (F)
- Jonathan Drouin (F)
- Michael Frolik (F)
- Charles Hudon (F)
- Corey Perry (F)
- Michael Pezzetta (F)
- Eric Staal (F)
- Tomas Tatar (F)
- Lukas Vejdemo (F)
- Jordan Weal (F)
- Cale Fleury (D)
- Erik Gustafsson (D)
- Brett Kulak (D)
- Jon Merrill (D)
- Gustav Olofsson (D)
- Xavier Ouellet (D)
- Shea Weber (D)
- Charlie Lindgren (G)
- Michael McNiven (G)
On Saturday, NHL team's handed in their protected player lists for the July 21 expansion draft, in which the league's 32nd team will be able to pick a player from every other team (with the exception of the Las Vegas Golden Knights).
Expansion draft rules say each team can protect either one or the other goalie.
Price's contract earns him an average of $10.5 million a year (tied for seventh highest in the league) meaning that if the Kraken swooped for the 33-year-old, the team would be under intense cap pressure.
Other teams left top goalies unprotected such as Tuuka Rask (Boston Bruin), Ben Bishop (Dallas Stars), Mike Smith (Edmonton Oilers), and Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings). Other players such as Tampa Bay Lightning cup winners Ondrej Palat, Alex Hillorn and Yanni Gourde and St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko are not protected.
Price started 25 regular season games in the shortened 2021 season and all 22 of the Habs playoff games.
Backup Jake Allen started in 27 games in the regular season.
A further twist to the story was added, however, when noting that Price's wife Angela Price is from Kennewick, Washington, and the family was in the area recently.
"The whole interesting twist in all of this is that his wife is from the area, and there's a lot of people that have believed over the years that Carey Price might one day end up in Seattle," said Marinaro.
Marinaro said he doesn't believe the Kraken will pick up Price.
Weber earns just under $7.9 million a year and his future remains in doubt after reports of numerous injuries including a possible career-ending ankle problem.
Seattle has $81.5 million in cap space to work with, and must select at least 20 players under contract for next season with salaries totalling at least $48 million. The Kraken must pick up at least 14 forwards, nine defencemen and three goalies.
The list of the Canadiens' protected players is as follows:
- Josh Anderson (F)
- Joel Armia (F)
- Jake Evans (F)
- Brendan Gallagher (F)
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi (F)
- Artturi Lehkonen (F)
- Tyler Toffoli (F)
- Ben Chiarot (D)
- Joel Edmundson (D)
- Jeff Petry (D)
- Jake Allen (G)
Kraken GM Ron Francis and the rest of the front office have between now and Wednesday at 8 p.m. to mull over the list of players and decide who they want to wear the sweater of the 32nd NHL franchise.
View the complete expansion draft list here.