If you’re on a good team, would you trade your elite, franchise player in their prime?

The answer is no! 

The Montreal Canadiens have been eliminated by their “Original Six” rivals, the New York Rangers over the weekend in just six games during the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

Expectations are always high for the Habs and their fans – but expectations were sky high in 2017 and many NHL experts had them going as far as the Eastern Conference Finals. Some, even had the Canadiens bringing home Lord Stanley’s Cup back to Montreal for the first time since 1993. 

The Montreal Canadiens, winners of the prized Stanley Cup of 24 times, find themselves headed home early spring once again. 

Since the last few days, many have speculated on what kind of changes the team will be enduring once again. This time, however, many wonder if there is a “price tag” on their franchise, elite goalie, Carey Price.

Price, who has been the face of the Habs since his first All-Star appearance in 2009, was selected fifth overall in 2005 and since 2008 has been Montreal’s starting goaltender. He is viewed and celebrated as Canada’s top goaltender and has representing his country twice, once in the 2014 Olympics and again last year during the World Cup of Hockey, where he helped Canada win a gold medal.

But given his accolades, why would Montreal trade their star player?

Price has since stated that he’d like to stay with the Canadiens. At age 29, he is still very well into his prime. His contract expires next season. Starting goaltenders are hard to find and staple onto a team as it is, elite goaltenders are nearly impossible to find. Price is one of the few elite goalies in hockey.

His career record screams elite: 270 wins, 175 losses, a goals against average of 2.40 and a save percentage of .920. Plus, he is a five-time All-Star and has not only won a Vezina Trophy, but a Hart Trophy as well, a rarity for goaltenders.

What changes should Montreal look into this summer? 

Certainly, trading Price would add luxurious assets: such as a first round pick, perhaps a top NHL player or even a top prospect.

It would be foolish for the Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin, to even consider trading their star goaltender. Price, has more than a handful of years left in that gas tank. I think it is more likely that an extension will eventually be made and the marriage will continue in Montreal than a trade. The fate of his teammates in front of him however, will be an interesting one. 

The price tag on Price would be astronomical, but still not enough for a player as valuable as Price.