The Canucks desperately hope the money they invested in free agency pays off better than it did last year when Loui Eriksson had his lowest point total in a decade during the first season of his $36 million, six-year contract. "We pretty much thought we had them locked up, but they decided not to".
"Nobody has a goaltender like Carey Price", Bergevin said at a news conference in Montreal.
"Whatever we put on the ice, we just need to have good performance from all the players", he said. "I think slowly he realized what he was looking for was not realistic". It was something I tried to explain to the agent, but in this case he didn't really want to listen. He no longer has a choice.
On Sunday, the netminder signed an eight-year contract extension that, barring trade or injury, will see him man the crease in the bleu-blanc-rouge until 2026.
Carey Price will soon be the highest-paid goaltender in hockey. While it won't affect the cap space they have today, now at $15 million, it still allows the Habs some wiggle room over the next year to make some signings and re-signings and still not be in the hole from a $10.5 million contract.
Bergevin said in an ideal world the Canadiens would have signed Price to a shorter deal, but understood they had to go to eight years.
It will make negotiations to keep his own free agents far more complicated for Bergevin, with the expiration of captain Max Pacioretty's contract looming after the 2018-19 season.
Such was Bergevin's choice, though there was no debate in the GM's mind which path he would choose.
The Montreal Canadiens have given a lengthy contract extension to their most important player.