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Assuming Carey Price is healthy come training camp, the Canadiens will have a very tough decision as to who will be their backup goaltender: Peter Budaj or Tokarski.
If Price didn't get hurt in last year's Eastern Conference Final, there would be no battle. Budaj, who has a year remaining on his contract, would resume his backup duties.
But Price did get hurt. Budaj was then passed over for the starting role, and Tokarski came in and played spectacularly, making a name for himself in the hockey world in the process.
So now the Habs have three NHL-calibre goalies on their hands and can only carry two. Price will obviously be one of them, meaning either Budaj or Tokarski won't be on the Canadiens' opening-day roster.
This battle will probably be a bit different, however, in that it won't necessarily be the better goalie on the ice in camp who earns the spot. Instead, this battle will probably be decided by the management team.
Bergevin will likely be trying to move Budaj or Tokarski before the regular season begins. While most other teams are currently set at goaltender, things will change in September. Injuries always occur during training camp and the backup-goaltender market could heat up.
It will be interesting to see which goaltender is more coveted, however.
Budaj is a proven backup who is a great leader in the locker room. Yet he is 31 and owed $1.4 million in 2014-15, a figure some teams might consider too high for a backup goalie.
Tokarski is very cheap at $562,500 for the next two seasons. He is also just 24 years old and has a much higher ceiling than Budaj, meaning Bergevin would be looking to get much more in return for Tokarski.
It appears that the Canadiens will enter training camp with Price, Budaj and Tokarski on their roster, but it would be surprising to see all three of them still there on October 8 (opening night). Budaj or Tokarski will likely be moved.
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