5 Worst Contracts in Recent Montreal Canadiens History
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They are Flying Frenchmen.
They are the Montreal Canadiens.
They are the most storied franchise in the National Hockey League. However, while no team has won more than Montreal's 24 Stanley Cups than Les Glorieux, they have not brought home the great trophy since 1993.
They have made a lot of mistakes since then.
Among those mistakes have been signing players to onerous contracts or bringing players aboard who already had signed them with other teams.
Here are the five worst contracts in recent Canadiens history.
The Montreal Canadiens traded for Gomez after the 2008-09 season when they sent Chris Higgins, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko to the New York Rangers for Gomez and Tom Pyatt.
What made the deal so bad is that the Canadiens expected a superstar performance from Gomez. They were certainly paying him a superstar salary.
The Rangers had already paid Gomez $18 million in the previous two seasons. However, the Canadiens were now obligated to pay Gomez $33.5 million over the next five seasons.
In his first three seasons with the Canadiens, he has scored 21 goals. His goal totals have been 12, seven and two.
The Canadiens finished dead last in the Eastern Conference last year, and Gomez did more than his part to help them reach the basement.
Tomas Kaberle was acquired by the Boston Bruins during the 2010-11 season to give their power play a lift.
The Bruins would go on to win the 2011 Stanley Cup, and they would do it with one of the worst power-play performances in playoff history.
Peter Chiarelli and head coach Claude Julien quickly came to the conclusion that Kaberle was not a Bruin-type player, and they traded him to Carolina for Joe Corvo. The Hurricanes were thrilled to have Kaberle and signed him to a three-year, $12.75 million contract.
It didn't take the Hurricanes long to realize that Kaberle was not worth the price. They traded him to the Canadiens for Jaroslav Spacek.
Kaberle is now the Canadiens' problem, and they are on the hook for the final two years of the contract. They will owe the butter-soft Kaberle $8.75 million in salary.
The Montreal Canadiens believe Carey Price will become a franchise goalie.
They think that when his career is over, Price will rank with the most talented goalies in Montreal history. That means that he will belong in the same category as Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy.
The Canadiens signed Price to a six-year, $39 million contract during the offseason. Price has a 2.56 career goals against average and a .916 save percentage. He has won one playoff series in his career.
While there is little doubt that Price has sensational instincts and reflexes, he has not proven anything to this point. He has flashed his ability, but he has not demonstrated his superstar's ability on a consistent basis.
The Canadiens have gambled—perhaps recklessly—that Price will be an all-time great.
The Montreal Canadiens thought they were getting a superstar when they signed Andrei Kostitsyn to a three-year, $9.75 million contract prior to the 2008-09 season.
They thought they were getting a player who would score 25-to-30 goals and prove to be dependable in the clutch.
The Canadiens did not get what they paid for. Kostitsyn scored 58 goals in three seasons and never scored more than 45 points in any one season.
Kostitsyn scored six goals in 25 playoff games over those three seasons.
Mike Cammalleri signed a five-year, $30 million contract prior to the 2009-10 season.
Cammalleri had scored 39 goals the year before with the Calgary Flames. When the Canadiens brought Cammalleri into the fold, they thought he would be a dominant scorer.
However, he never scored more than 26 goals in a season with the Canadiens. He reached that level in 2009-10. He followed that with seasons of 19 and 20 goals.
The Canadiens decided to cut their losses and trade Cammalleri back to Calgary in the middle of the 2011-12 season. The Canadiens got Rene Bourque back in exchange.
Cammalleri never reached the superstar level with the Canadiens.