A little less than two years ago Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin shocked the hockey world when he made the decision to pull the trigger on a massive trade deal that sent then Canadiens superstar P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators in exchange for then Predators captain Shea Weber.
The player for player trade involving the two defenseman sent shock waves throughout the National Hockey League, but perhaps no fan base was left in more shock the one belonging to the Canadiens. While it's true that Shea Weber was a beloved player in Nashville, there is a level of fanaticism when it comes to the Canadiens that may genuinely be unrivaled by any other organization in the entire NHL.
The trade resulted in a huge number of fans turning their backs on the organization and there were multiple videos online posted of fans burning their Canadiens jersey's and other Canadiens memorabilia as they felt the organization had betrayed the most beloved player in the organization.
The Canadiens have arguably never fully recovered from that trade. Now two years later fan interest is at an all-time low and the Canadiens have failed to live up to the expectations were set when the Weber trade was made. Perhaps most damning of all however is the fact that Subban, with the possible exception of goaltender Carey Price, may still be the most popular player in the city of Montreal, and it may not be all that close either. Subban continues to honor his massive commitment to the Children's Hospital in that city and his return in 2017 was the loudest the Bell Centre has been in years.
That's why when trade rumors began circulating this week, rumors that involve another extremely popular player in that city, they came as a complete and total shock. Those rumors of course focus on the aforementioned Carey Price, the only player who could hope to hold a candle to Subban's popularity in Montreal, and a player who seems more and more likely to be on his way out of that organization.
The rumors have been building momentum and on Thursday Habs insider Arpon Basu was one of the first to put them into print, citing the possibility of a blockbuster trade deal that could happen this summer with the Carolina Hurricanes, who will be under new management come the offseason.
But the one area where the Hurricanes need the most help, and this has been the case for a long time, is in goal.
This is where the Canadiens could offer the biggest splash imaginable.
All those assets mentioned earlier, or at least a good number of them, could be offered as a package for Carey Price to solve what has been an interminable problem in Carolina. Cam Ward has been, statistically at the very least, a below average goaltender his entire career. Anton Khudobin and Eddie Lack were each brought in to compete with Ward and it didn’t work. The latest experiment, Scott Darling, has been an unmitigated disaster.
Now another NHL reporter has come out and added more fuel onto the fire, and it now sounds like there is an extremely legitimate possibility that Carey Price could end up being traded sooner rather than later.
NHL analyst Jimmy Murphy is reporting that he has spoken to multiple NHL sources on the matter, and he has been told that there is an increasing belief around the league that general manager Marc Bergevin will "listen to" offers that are presented to him for a trade involving Price. Furthermore Murphy has indicated that some of those NHL sources are based in Montreal, which is of course huge.
Now it has to be stated that listening to offers is not the same as actively shopping a player, but if someone has suggested that Carey Price would be traded two years ago they would have been met with nothing but ridicule. The move however makes perfect sense for a Habs team that is also believed to be shopping captain Max Pacioretty. It sounds like the Canadiens are looking to gut their roster and seriously retool their player personnel.
If Price is indeed traded it would be the biggest trade in years, and could potentially even dwarf an eventual Erik Karlsson trade deal. It would also likely be the biggest trade we would see in the next several years as well.