What Price Is Right? Carey Price Still Working Out Deal with Montreal

Matt Eichel@@mattyalloutSenior Writer IAugust 2, 2010

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 04:  Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens in action against the San Jose Sharks during an NHL game at the HP Pavilion  on March 4, 2010 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

It's a foregone conclusion that Carey Price, the former fifth-overall pick in the 2005 draft, is the go-to goalie in Montreal.

Now what is strange, is that he's the first to assume the role uncontested since Patrick Roy was the go-to man when he left in 1996.

From Jocelyn Thibault and Andy Moog to Jose Theodore battling Jeff Hackett, Crisotbal Huet, and Jaroslav Halak, Price is now the only goalie since Roy to have a backup in Alex Auld that was signed purely to help take the bite out of Price's workload.

Price has two 20-win seasons in the NHL, but his consistency has been the biggest criticism of the young netminder's game.

Look in comparison to other young goalies who signed contracts this offseason, most notably former teammate Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis (four years, $2.75 million upwards to $4.5 million) and Jonathan Quick in LA (three years, all under $2 million).

Quick had 39 wins in 2009-10, amongst the league leaders and he's also making under $2 million per year in the three final years of his deal.

So what is Price worth?  Or what is Price's price?

Habs Inside/Out man Mike Boone suggests short term $2.3-$2.5 million.  

For a guy who hasn't won more than 24 games in a season?

For someone this inconsistent?

It must be his potential they factor into the money.  What if he signs for Jonathan Quick money and puts out Patrick Roy money?

Then again, what happens if he signs for say, Ryan Miller money and plays like Andre Racicot?

It's a tight rope to walk for Pierre Gauthier.

It is only a matter of time before the deal is done, but the one reiterating reason that Price is not yet signed is how much is he really worth?

He has a overall season record of 60-48-18, 2.78 GAA, 92.1 SV%.

Is that worthy of $2.3-$2.5 million?

Josh Harding is making $1.9 million on his new contract and his numbers are close to Price's.

Maybe the pressure of having to be good enough to keep the job will make it easier to be the go-to guy.

It worked for Patrick Roy.

Maybe it will work for Carey Price.