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The post-Carey Price era: Scott Wheeler says the Habs have no hope in goal among the NHL’s cream of the crop

One thing I’m noticing more and more in the NHL is that teams are having a hard time managing the decline of their best players.

Take the Chicago Blackhawks, for example. They haven’t made the playoffs in 6 years, and they waited until last season to consider trading Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews when they were 34 and 35 respectively.

With a little long-term vision, the Hawks should have realized that their formula wasn’t working and that it was probably better to trade them one too soon than too late. In the end, these two behemoths (Kane only in effect) of the organization will have brought them only Vali Saarijärvi, Andy Welinski, a second-round pick turned Martin Misiak and a 4th-round pick in 2025.

That’s very little for two players who were among the NHL’s elite.

Montreal did the same with Shea Weber and Carey Price. Marc Bergevin had known for a long time that their health would not return to normal, and he tried the experiment anyway. In the end, the Habs got absolutely nothing for them. Well, okay, they got Evgeni Dadonov and his beautiful smile.

Dadonov who, in turn, gave Denis Gurianov. #LePartyEstPognéInLaPlace #Ironie

In the case of Shea Weber, we can at least take solace in the fact that the Habs have several very good prospects at this position in Kaiden Guhle, Lane Hutson, Jordan Harris, David Reinbacher and Logan Mailloux.

But for Carey Price, it’s…

And the situation isn’t about to change: according to The Athletic’s NHL prospect expert Scott Wheeler, the Habs don’t have any top-10 prospects in net.

His ranking is as follows:

1 – Jesper Wallstedt of the Wild

2 – Predators’ Yaroslav Askarov

3 – Devon Levi of the Sabres

4 – Flames’ Dustin Wolf

5 – Red Wings’ Sebastian Cossa

6 – Trey Augustine, Red Wings

7 – Michael Hrabal, Coyotes

8 – Ducks’ Lukas Dostal

9 – Hurricanes’ Pyotr Kochetkov

10 – Drew Commesso Blackhawks

So that’s not very reassuring. Here’s hoping that Jakub Dobes and Jacob Fowler, who are on Wheeler’s honorable mention list, cause us a nice surprise in the future and develop into elite goaltenders. I’m open to being surprised.

Otherwise, there’s always the trade market.

In bursts

– I imagine this will also be the case for several other cities.

– Kings reach agreement with forward Gabe Vilardi.

– The same goes for Tomas Nosek, who will remain in Boston next season.

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