Monday, January 25, 2010

The Value of Price

When I wrote about trading Carey Price 2 and a half years ago, I meant it. I still stand by it. The piece I wrote wasn't about the need to trade the prospect on his way up, but a treatise on trading at a high point.

Today, a smug Elliotte Friedman made his own declaration that the time to trade Price was nigh. Like the 14-year-old boy who thinks he's discovered a new tune, three times-covered and 20-times remixed, Elliotte is late to the party.

Here's what I know. In all the time I have known Carey Price's name, and known him as a Habs player, there has never been a time when his value in a trade has been lower. I can say this with some certainty because the boy came in with great potential, added to it with championships and Cups, turned in a commendable effort in the NHL. Last season was lower, but the smell of success was still on him. Now, it's the smell of his hard work, and the hard work ahead that I see and smell. Hard work he'll have to put in to be an all-star again.

Back in the summer of 2007, you see, Carey was a can't miss who didn't miss. A first rounder from two years prior who played like a first rounder from 5 years earlier. He had the potential and the only question that loomed over him was "when?". In other words, his value was high.

In that piece I wrote about trading Carey Price, limitless potential, for an established superstar. I believed it then. If Carey Price could now fetch an established superstar, Halak wouldn't be in doubt about his next Habs start.

Price's value to others is inversely proportional to his value to the Canadiens

OK math guys, don't flip, the relationship isn't linear, it's not proven. it's vague. What I mean is, the relationship between value of his play vs. the value he returns in a trade changes with performance. As he goes from limitless potential to good young goalie, he still has plenty of value to the Habs. But other teams who probably feel they can mine good young goalies just fine on their own drop their offers.

Elliotte Friedman can say Price will get full value all he wants:
"Do you think they get lowballed for Price? No way"
I don't believe him.

The best thing

All this sitting around has been nice from Gainey, but I think he's missed the window on trading a goalie. Philadelphia is winning again, and are comfortable in goal. Good goalies out of playoff position aren't a ringing endorsement for overpaying for a goalie. And the trade deadline is about overpaying to win in the 2010 playoffs, not overpaying for winning in the 2016 playoffs -- that trade can come later.

I think Gainey should wait too. Wait at least until Carey's hard work pays off. If it doesn't, I don't think he'll have missed as big a trade as our CBC reporter seems to.

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