NHL Rumors: Coyotes relocation, and will Carey Price play this season?

carey price Canadiens
Jul 7, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) defends the net against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in game five of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes are fighting for dead last in the NHL. As they both battle to best position themselves to win the Draft Lottery, they are also two franchises needing to plan out their futures.

Jeff Gorton’s selection of the next Habs GM will likely give some indication of that. A young unknown lends more credence to a rebuild than a veteran executive. While, the Coyotes are in a continuous state of flux looking for a new home.

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NHL Rumors: Will Carey Price play?

There has been some recent speculation the the Habs will offer Carey Price the same courtesy that was extended by Jeff Gorton in 2018 to New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist opted to stay for the rebuild but still ended up being a buyout before his contract was up.

“Would the Canadiens and Price say well maybe another team might want you, but the only way that could work is if you get healthy and play some games this year so other teams can see that you’re alright,” Elliotte Friedman recently pondered. “I think at some point that conversation is going to have to happen.”

Price, 34, is former Hart and Vezina Trophy recipient owning a 360-257-79 record with 49 shutouts, a .917 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average in 707 games (695 starts) since Montreal drafted him No. 5 overall in 2005.

He has four more years on his deal that comes with an AAV of $10.5M. Even if the Habs and Price agree to move on, it will take a serious retention of salary for a deal to happen.

Now the speculation has turned to if Price has any incentive to even play this season. With the Habs out of playoff contention and no Olympics to look forward to, does he have any reason to come back?

“No one has told me that Carey doesn’t have a chance of playing this year,” said coach Dominique Ducharme. “We talked about the steps he needs to go through. It’s certain that with the time we lost that we couldn’t even be in this building. That was time for treatment, time for practice that he and other players didn’t have.”

Sportsnet

What happens next with Price is ultimately up to him. But this is one Habs storyline to follow until the trade deadline.

Coyotes relocation woes

Arizona Coyotes relocation
Oct 14, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Arizona Coyotes logo is reflected on the ice prior to the game against the Boston Bruins at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Last month, the Coyotes were talking about a new home while being required to pay the state $1.4 million for lapsed payment of taxes. Rumors of relocation out of the Gila River Arena have continued since.

“Alex is committed, Alex has the resources, and the Coyotes aren’t going anywhere,” Gary Bettman said. “Well, they’re going somewhere else other than Glendale.”

While it already has been announced that this is the Coyotes’ last season at Gila River Arena, on the west end of the metropolitan Phoenix area, the team has not announced where it would play next season.

One potential destination was a new home in Tempe, Arizona.

According to Craig S. Morgan, the Coyotes do not have the votes in the Tempe City Council to approve their $1.7 billion arena proposal.

The saga continues in the desert.